Top track runners compete out west

With most of Butler’s track and field team at the DePauw Indoor Invitational on Saturday, a group of Butler’s six best distance runners at the Husky Classic in Seattle, knew it would be a tough meet.

But they didn’t let it get to them.

Sophomore Katie Clark, the new Butler record holder in the women’s indoor 5000-meter, beat her previous best time by 17 seconds, the school record by 15 seconds and finished ninth with a time of 16:28.02.

The previous record, set by Genni Gardner in 2007, was 16:43.08.

Senior Justin Roeder is making the most of his final indoor season. He ran in the men’s 5000-meter and finished 10th, with a lifetime best time of 14:13.03.

Fellow senior distance ace Kris Gauson also had a successful meet. He finished third in the second-fastest section of the men’s mile, with a time of 4:01.38. Lawi Lalang of the University of Arizona, who won the section, finished with a time of 3:59.13.

Two freshmen, Harry Ellis and Ross Clarke, also ran in the Husky Classic.

Ellis ran the mile and finished 11th in his section with a personal best time of 4:11.98. Clarke ran a lifetime best time of 8:02.29 in the men’s 3000-meter, good for ninth in the second-fastest section.

“Ross has established himself as one of the top freshman distance runners in the country,” head coach Matt Roe said.

Sophomore Kirsty Legg was the final member of Butler’s team in Seattle. She ran her specialty: the mile.

Running in the fastest section, she finished 11th with a time of 4:46.24, her third best ever.

“It was a very good learning experience as I was in a race full of girls where the majority had All American status,” Legg said. “It allowed me to race some of the top girls in the country.”

The rest of the team was a little closer to home, but just as successful.

On Saturday in Greencastle, Ind., the Butler men’s team placed 11 out of 21 teams, while the women finished sixth out of 19 teams.

Senior Brent Sever, who won the 55-meter hurdles in under eight seconds, led the men’s team.

“Last week at the Meyo Invite, I ran right next to the defending national champion,” Sever said. “This week was definitely different, but it was good to get in some more experience.”

Fellow senior Taylor Eaton placed third in the 5000-meter, with a time of 15:34.30.

A pair of freshmen, Andrew Wallace and Nigel Spears, competed in the men’s 800-meter and the long jump, respectively. Wallace was third with a time of 1:59.75, while Spears was fourth with a jump of 20-04.50.

On the women’s side of things, junior Lauren Haberkorn captured one of four individual titles, winning the 5000-meter in 18:13.34.

Also winning her event was senior Rosie Edwards, who grabbed first in the women’s mile with a time of 5:15.70. Sophomores Kaitlyn Love and Shelbi Burnett won the last two events, in the 600-meter and 800-meter, respectively.

“We have opened the season very well, and hope to continue this great form to the Eastern Illinois meet this weekend and the conference meet in two weeks time,” Legg said.

The entire team will be together again for the Friday Night Special in two days. The Horizon League Indoor Championships are in Youngstown, Ohio, Feb. 26 and 27.