In his last Horizon League Indoor Championship meet, senior Kris Gauson went out with a bang.
Gauson won both the 800-meter run and the mile with only 50 minutes of rest in between and led Butler to a third-place finish at the Horizon League Indoor Championships.
“He’s in great shape,” head coach Matt Roe said. “He was very decisive in both races at this meet and is squarely on the bubble of getting to the NCAA Indoor Championships.”
Gauson’s time of 1:51.40 in the 800-meter barely edged Butler freshman Ross Clarke’s time of 1:52.00, which was good for second-place.
Sophomore Craig Jordan finished in fourth, with a time of 1:52.06.
It was the first time in Clarke’s career that he ran the 800-meter. Coupled with his performances in the mile and 3000-meter run (6th, 8:38.32), Clarke became the first Horizon League athlete to score in three events at a conference championship meet.
“He’s one of the best freshmen in the country,” Roe said. “This meet really showed how tough he is, his versatility and how bright the future is for him.
“To be able to run all three events, it’s amazing.”
In the mile, it was once again Gauson and Clarke battling at the front, with Gauson winning his second title of the meet with a time of 4:07.86. Clarke ran a 4:09.81, finishing in second.
The men’s 3000-meter run was also dominated by Butler runners. Senior Justin Roeder won the event with a time of 8:27.17, junior Matt Proctor took second place with a time of 8:29.22 and fellow junior Craig Gundersen ran 8:29.73, good for third-place.
Butler also received contributions from freshman Alex Berry and senior Brent Sever, who finished fifth-place in the 400-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles, respectively.
The 4×400 meter relay team of Berry, Gauson and freshmen Andrew Wallace and Brad Magnetta also did well, placing sixth and setting a new Butler record with a time of 3:21.93.
“We scored all the races out and we had the men finishing third, so we were happy with our finish,” Roe said.
The Butler women also took third as a team on their side of the conference championships. Like the men, a majority of their points came from distance events.
Sophomores Kirsty Legg and Katie Clark continued their season-long success in the middle distance events. Legg ran a preliminary time of 2:10.72 in the 800-meter run, a new Horizon League record.
Legg followed that up with two individual championships in the 800-meter and the mile, with times of 2:12.33 and 5:03.70, respectively.
As for Clark, it was a meet full of second-place finishes. She started off her day by taking second in the 5000-meter run, finished just behind Legg in the mile at 5:03.90 and took second in the 3000-meter with a time of 9:48.60.
Milwaukee swept the meet at the GaREAT Complex in Geneva, Ohio, winning both the men’s and women’s titles.
Butler will have a chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on Friday and Saturday.
After the NCAA Indoor Championship meet, which will be held in College Station, Texas on March 11 and 12, Butler’s first outdoor meet will be the Stanford Invitational on March 25.