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Bulldogs Sweep Individual Titles At Butler Opener

August 31, 2014


CARMEL, IND. - Butler opened th 2014 cross country seasons with a team title and a pair of individual crows at the Butler Opener on Saturday (Aug. 30).  The competition at Northview Christian Church was the first of two home meets for the Bulldogs this fall.

Newcomers Matt Lumbar and Laura Riches led Butler to a sweep of the individual titles in the opening meet, while Butler's men also claimed the team title.  The Butler women finished runner-up.

Lumbar, a freshman from Edina, Minn., turned in an impressive debut for the Bulldogs, while pacing a field of 38 runners in the men's 6K race.  He raced to a first place finish in 19:21.7, finishing nearly two seconds ahead of teammate Chris O'Brien, another first-year runner.

The two freshmen helped Butler capture four of the top five individual finishes in the men's race.   Freshman Billy Thomas came in fourth in 19:49.3, while junior Keigan Culler finished fifth in 19:53.8.  Freshman Michael Carey came in 14th in 20:28.6 to round out Butler's top five individuals.

Riches, running her first race in a Butler uniform, pulled away from the field and crossed the finish line in 18:22.2 in the women's 5K race.  The junior from Manchester, U.K., came in more than 23 seconds ahead of teammate Maddie Westerhoff in second place.  Westerhoff finished in 18:47.6 to claim the runner-up spot.

Freshman Jackie Dubnicka placed third for the Bulldogs and sixth overall in 19:25.9, while freshman Rebekah Bosler finished fourth on the team and 16th overall in 19:54.9.  Junior Stephanie Hanagan was just a few steps behind in 17th place with a time of 20:04.

"I was really impressed with our two freshmen on the guys side," said Butler head coach Matt Roe of the Bulldogs' top two male runners.  "They ran quicker than I thought they might considering the heat and humidity, but Matt ran really well and Chris ran really well and I think they helped each other.  Chris was aggressive early and that helped Matt get going and then Matt took over."

"And the same thing for our top two girls, Laura and Maddie," continued Roe.  "We expected that they would run well and they did.  Overall the teams competed hard which you hope for in the first meet and it's a good stepping stone."

Butler's men captured the team title with a final score of 26 points.  IUPUI came in second with 36, while Marian finished third with 68.  IUPUI claimed the women's crown with 33 points, followed by Butler (42), Ball State (61) and Marian (99).

The Butler Opener was the first of two trips the Bulldogs will make to the Northview Church campus this fall.  Butler will host the 2014 BIG EAST Championship at the Carmel church campus on Oct. 31.

"It's an awesome course and a great venue," praised Roe.  "We're really pleased to be able to bring the BIG EAST Championship here and we're fortunate to have this great group at Northview, who have been such a big part of the running community in Indianapolis for so long."

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