Butler women finish fourth at season-opening J.K. Gold Classic

Butler women finish fourth at season-opening J.K. Gold Classic

AUGUSTA, Kan. — The Butler women's cross country team opened the 2017 season with a fourth-place finish Saturday morning at the J.K. Gold Classic, hosted by Wichita State University at the RAFT Golf Course.

Among non-Division I teams, Butler scored 70 points and had four runners place in the top 15. Friends was the top team with 40 points, followed by Newman (44) and Southwestern (62).

Butler's top runner was Towanda freshman Spencer Jacobson, who completed the 4K course in 15:56.7 and finished 10th among non-Division I runners. Sophomore Jade Searles, from Barbados, trailed Jacobson at the finish line by just three seconds (15:59.9) and was 12th.

"I wasn't expecting (Spencer) to be our No. 1 runner today, but she surprised me," said Butler head cross country coach Dustin Mettler, who is in his first year.

Other point scorers for the Grizzlies were sophomores Conangela Senior (16:01.3, 13th), Roshae Burrell (16:05.8, 14th) and Jeanna Baker (16:30.6, 21st).

"We have a lot of work to do," said Mettler. "A lot of them came in out of shape and I'm sure the transition to a new coach maybe hurt them mentally."

Butler also had five other runners competing at the Classic - sophomore Irine Jepkemboi (18:23.4, 32nd); freshman Tara Mayes (18:24.1, 33rd), sophomore Madison Bissell (18:43.7), Jentai Valentine (19:03.8) and sophomore Ebigael Rono (23:11.9).

Next up for the Grizzlies will be Missouri Southern Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 16 in Joplin, Mo.