Track and field: Freshmen invade record books


For Nicole Hudec, warming up involves an iPod, a Snickers bar, some stretches and a few laps around the track.

Kelly Davidson said she needs music that “pumps me up” and thoughts about “things that make me angry.”

This is how the two Butler freshmen have prepared for each of their track and field events this season in an assault on the record books.

Hudec and Davidson have broken four of Butler’s track and field records during the Bulldogs’ first seven meets.

“They’re great students and both really strong athletes,” coach Matt Roe said. “We’re really excited to have both of them to grow the sprints and jumps sides of our program.”

In the duo’s first collegiate meet, the Blue and Gold Invitational on Dec. 2, Hudec set new school bests in the long jump and triple jump while Davidson topped Butler’s previous mark in the 200-meter dash.

The similarities between the two do not end in Butler’s record books, though.

Hudec and Davidson are roommates in Ross Hall and are both part of the school’s pharmacy program.

The pair said they both came to Butler for the pharmacy program first and that competing on the track and field team came after that.

Both Hudec and Davidson began participating in track during seventh grade.

Hudec said she took up long jump at Ohio’s North Royalton High School at the suggestion of her gymnastics coaches because she could run quickly and use her gymnastics abilities.

Like Hudec, Davidson started participating in track and field because of another sport, although she became more interested in track by her sophomore year at Ursuline Academy in Ohio.

“I was always on the front line in soccer, using my speed to get the ball, so I knew I was fast and went to a sport where I could use my abilities,” Davidson said.

Sophomore sprinter Maddie Cassidy said that Hudec and Davidson have both displayed a positive attitude and enthusiasm—two qualities the squad needed.

“Personally, I think it’s neat to see [them breaking records],” Cassidy said. “To see them work hard in practice and adapting really well, I’m proud to see the hard work pay off.”

Hudec attributes her success to the team’s hard workouts in the fall, something that Roe said he agrees with.

“They just needed a good base of work, which they got this fall, and great competition, which we’ve been able to provide for them,” Roe said. “The combination of hard work and great opportunities creates great outcomes.”

These factors have led Hudec and Davidson to not only break school records, but also break their own records.

Hudec has topped her best distance in the long jump and triple jump twice each while also capturing the school record in the 55-meter dash at the Hoosier Open on Dec. 9.

Davidson also set another new school-best in the 200-meter dash at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 3.

At the Friday Night Special last Friday, Davidson achieved the second-fastest 55-meter dash time in Butler history, behind Hudec.


Still, both Hudec and Davidson said that they are looking to improve going into the Horizon League Indoor Championships, the following outdoor season and future seasons.

The indoor championship meet is facing Hudec and Davidson first, though, and the two share a similar goal: scoring points.

“I’m hoping I can go under 26 seconds because I’ve been so close the past two races,” Davidson said.

Hudec and Davidson said they both plan to chase careers in pharmacy, although they would like to stick with track and field through college.

No matter what happens, Roe said he is happy to have them in the program.

“I think they’re well-coached and well-disciplined,” Roe said. “We’re just excited to have them performing well.”


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