Track and Field: Runners split for three weekend meets

For most teams, splitting a squad up is usually done due to one of three things: injury, illness or disciplinary consequences.

For the Butler track and field team, it’s a little different.

This past weekend, members traveled to multiple meets, but not because of sickness, injured athletes or violating team rules.

The split was completely by choice.

Approximately a dozen Butler runners headed to Bloomington with an assistant coach for the Hoosier Hills Invitational, hosted by Indiana.

Others went to Anderson while a handful of athletes didn’t compete this weekend.

Four other runners flew to the West Coast with coach Matt Roe for the University of Washington’s Husky Classic, held in Seattle.

Roe said in an email that specific meets are better designed for specific athletes.

“Our schedule is composed to give the most appropriate competitive opportunities available for each student-athlete. There are a myriad of items to consider when deciding when and where each individual is to compete.”

He mentioned race distance, health, fitness, long-term and short-term development and academic schedules, all of which vary for each athlete. Roe also said some athletes aren’t racing simply because of the upcoming Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships.

Senior Kirsty Legg didn’t get the weekend off. An All-American in the 1,500-meter run, Legg holds a personal record of 4:40.25 in the mile. This past weekend – her fourth time running in the meet – she placed 14th in the women’s mile at the Husky Classic, racing among multiple All-Americans and pros.

Sophomores Mara Olson and Tom Curr went out to Seattle as well. Olson won her event, beating out more than 30 other runners in the 3,000-meter run and posting a personal record in the process with a time of 9:29.05.

“I like competing at these high-intensity meets,” Olson said. “The atmosphere is more competitive, which can lead to some fast times.”

Curr was 19th overall in the men’s mile with a time of 4:03.14, and junior teammate Ross Clarke was 12th in his section of the same race.

Closer to home, senior Kaitlyn Love competed at the Hoosier Hills Invite. She said that while splitting the team gives people opportunities to compete at a higher level, there were races at the Husky Classic in which the majority of the team could have competed.

“We have so many different talent levels,” Love said. “We have the extreme, and then we have people who really need to go to smaller meets.

“There were some great athletes (at the Husky Classic). But we all probably would’ve done just fine.”

Love ran in the 800-meter race at IU on Saturday—separate from the ordinary 800-meter run—and the fastest heat of the event. Despite confusion with the rabbit, who dictates the early pace in races, Love finished seventh in a time of 2:15.73, which would have been good for 29th at the Husky Classic.

Another big contrast between the meets is the number of professional runners at each event.

The Hoosier Hills Invite had a handful of unattached athletes. In Love’s equivalent race at the Husky Classic, nearly half of the runners were professional or some other form of post-collegiate athlete.

“Just four went to Seattle, so it really doesn’t make a huge difference,” Love said. “I do think it’s good to split sometimes though. And (some of my teammates) got a good challenge and into races that are more competitive.”

The team likely won’t divide again until the outdoor season for the Mt. SAC Relays in California. Next week, all athletes will be in Kingston, R.I., for the A-10 Indoor Championships.

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