Different countries, one team


This year’s cross-country team boasts a unique international flair.

Five of the student-athletes on the team are from overseas.

Senior Katie Good and junior Laura Riches are from Manchester, senior Ross Clarke is from Essex, junior Tom Curr is from Stroud, and senior Harry Ellis hails from Warrington.SONY DSC

The process to recruit today’s runners started many years ago.

“We have had international athletes for about 16 or 17 years here at Butler, specifically with the U.K.,” Matt Roe, head coach for the cross-country team, said. “That was something the previous coach Joe Franklin had started. He kind of just started with one that he got in an exchange.”

That one runner led to another, and another-—and the pattern continued.

“Just like anything else, that is how things start. It starts pretty organically,” Roe said.

In England, runners typically train and run together in clubs.

Curr learned about Butler through one of his English teammates.

“Harry Ellis is in the year above me,” Curr said.  “We ran for England together in 2009, and he had just started talking to Butler. And, when I got back from England, Butler contacted me through Facebook. It just kind of went from there because we talked about it together.”

Good’s Butler connection also relied on her relationships with other runners.

“There are a few other Brits that came out, Katie Clark (Class of 2013), had been extremely successful here. and then I know a few people and home who had been here before and they had graduated,” Good said. “It was all through running.”

However, the runners noticed a major difference between running in a club and running on a division-one collegiate level—the importance of being team.

“It was completely different,” Riches said. “Here, everyone runs as a team, and it is all about the team. Everyone is here just to run, whereas at home, people are sort of just doing it to keep fit. I like the pace that it is more competitive (here)ww.”

Clarke has had a similar experience.

“They definitely train a lot more out here,” Clarke said. “The facilities are a lot better. Access to the athletic trainers and rehab is a lot better, and it is just more a professional approach all around, compared to back in England.”

Despite the differences, the runners have adjusted well to The Butler Way.

Roe said there are more similarities than differences.

“We look at every athlete on the team uniquely as an individual, and we value where they are from and their experience,” Roe said. “But, ultimately, when you come to Butler, whether you are from England or Scotland or Indiana or Wisconsin or Australia or Ohio, they are Butler student-athletes and, first and foremost, they are part of our team and our program and everybody’s committed to making Butler better.”

“We have a really nice flavor of different people from different places, but we all have a common goal and purpose, which is to individually and collectively be at our best,” he said.