SARAH THUET | STAFF REPORTER
The Butler University cross-country team is coming off a successful weekend at the Big East Championships.
The women’s team took third behind Georgetown University, which is currently ranked first nationally, and Providence College, the reigning national champions. The men’s team took fourth behind Villanova University, Georgetown and Providence.
Mara Olson, a senior runner who took seventh overall, said, “The first two meets of our season did not reflect the talent of our team, so to get third was a relieving step in the right direction.”
For the men’s side, the top runner was Erik Peterson, a junior from Barrington, Illinois, who took fourth overall.
“We definitely have been improving,” Peterson said. “We have had some ups and downs, like injuries and (illnesses). And for the upcoming regional meet, we just want to stay on top of things.”
For the varsity runners, the next meet is the NCAA Regional Meet in Madison, Wisconsin. The team, although showing major improvements this past weekend, still has some work to do before regionals.
“We will continue to maintain our strength training while sharpening for speed work,” Olson said. “Mentally, we will be building our confidence and focusing on having some of our women practice running together as a pack.”
Although the next meet for the varsity runners is not until regionals, the junior varsity squad will be participating in the Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend. Both teams intend to finish this season on a strong note.
“To finish the season on a strong and competitive note, our team needs to demonstrate our fitness on race day,” Olson said. “We need to perform to our potential at regionals and hope for the chips to fall into place. There are many aspects out of our control, such as the weather and how other teams finish. But we need to run like Bulldogs and get in the top five of our region, which is arguably the strongest in the nation.”