Matt Lawder, a Junior cross country runner at Butler University, is the Men's Cross Country correspondent for the HLN Blog.
The team was back in action this weekend at the Pre-Nationals meet in Terre Haute, IN. The team was trying to decide on the trip to the course Saturday if we actually had the longest distance to travel on the day of the meet since we stayed on campus and drove to Terre Haute on Saturday morning. We decided that IUPUI was slightly closer to the course than Butler, and the only way we might be "beaten" was if some team stayed in an Indianapolis hotel on the north side of the city.
We had some good runs on the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course, most notably from Andy Baker, who placed second in 23:45. Unfortunately, our squad didn't all run as well as Baker, which dropped us well down in the team standings. Some other highlights from the meet included watching Loyola's Ben Reifenberg on the course, sporting a superb mustache, and watching Chris Derrick mow down Sam Chelenga in the final 1,000 meters of the second men's race.
Our women's team also had a good showing with Katie Clark and Lauren McKillop both having solid runs, leading the team to a 19th-place finish.
Not much exciting to report from the Butler squad over the past two weeks. Lots of basic training, eating, and sleeping, with the occasional school work thrown into the mix. Everyone has either been recovering from the previous meet or preparing for the next one.
We recovered from our race on Saturday with a nice, long run at 7:30am on Sunday. The grass still had frost on it for most of the run, which seems to be more and more common these days. Some of the freshman, either from England or Australia, are starting to understand what the coming winter in Indiana is going to be like. McKillop, who already comes to runs bundled up and wearing earmuffs, might be a bit surprised at the temperature come January.
The team is still keeping its fingers crossed that the weather for the Horizon League Cross Country Championships in the Motor City...which is only two weeks away...will be as nice as it was in Green Bay last year. I'm actually not being sarcastic there, it was 55-degrees and sunny on race day. Hopefully those two weeks are enough time for some of our teammates—cough, Baker and Boardman, cough—to grow out facial hair to match up against Reifenberg and the rest of the league.
Oh, and before I forget...a clarification to add from my last blog entry...Coach Roe was a shooting champ at the Holiday Sundome Classic and his high school basketball team made it to the state "Final Four" two years in a row.