Peterson advances to nationals, but teams head home


The 2014 cross-country season has ended for all but one Butler University runner. 

The men and women’s varsity teams competed in the NCAA Regional Championships this past weekend and failed to qualify as a team for nationals. The men’s team came in eighth, while the women’s team finished ninth.

Erik Peterson finished fifth overall and earned himself a spot in the national meet.

“I am trying to recover the best I can before Saturday,” Peterson said. “Running two 10Ks in eight days isn’t exactly ideal, so I am just working on recovering to perform my best at nationals.”

Both the men and women performed well, but that was not enough against the tough opponents in the region.

“The team has just as much fitness and talent as we ever have had,” senior Mara Olson said. “The stars simply weren’t aligned for us this year.”

This race, like many others, has a variety of uncontrollable components outside of the Butler runners’ performances.

“Our region is arguably the most competitive in the country and we faced some terrible weather this season, both factors out of our control,” Olson said. “We raced tough and will continue to do so in track this winter and spring.”

Peterson said the men’s team gave a strong effort but just came up short.

“As a team, on the guy’s side, we performed pretty close to our potential,” he said. “We are really young. With four out of seven runners being freshman, it is not the easiest thing, but we had a pretty good day overall.”

Peterson said he is looking forward to having a strong season as a team next year.

“Next year looks really good,” Peterson said. “We definitely have some bright spots from the freshman and hopefully will get some more great guys coming in.”

While Peterson sees the bright future for the fall of 2015, Olson is focused on her last indoor track season as a Bulldog.

“We are all unpacking our winter running gear and dusting off our track spikes in anticipation for the upcoming indoor season,” she said.