Butler Off to a Strong Start

JOE HASENSTAB | Staff Reporter

The track and field team continued its indoor season this weekend, with the team splitting time at Indiana University-—Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University.

Among the six Butler athletes running at Bloomington was junior Mara Olson. She won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:08.83, breaking her school record from last year by about three seconds. This time was good enough to move her into the top spot in the NCAA for the women’s 3000-meter race.

Olson’s teammate, sophomore Erik Peterson, attributes Olson’s success to her work ethic.

“She is so good because of her hard work,” Peterson said. “I would say she is probably the hardest worker on the team.”

In that same event, freshman Lauren Wood finished second, posting a time of 9:20.98. She entered the invitational as unattached, meaning she   ran independently from the Butler team, because she is redshirting for the spring season to prepare for the USA Cross Country Championships.

Coach Matt Roe was impressed by Wood’s performance, saying she is one of the elite runners in the nation for her age group.

“She’s a freshman, and that time is probably the fastest time in the United States for someone under the age of 20, at least at this point in the season,” Roe said. “So we’re talking about somebody leading the NCAA and somebody who has the fastest under-20 time in the country. That’s a big deal.”

The Bulldogs are heading into another weekend with two meets. One is at the University of Washington, which will be a national level invitational.

Butler will send four of its top runners–—Peterson, senior Tom Anderson, Mara Olson and junior Katie Good—to the meet. All will be running in the 5-Kilometer race.

Peterson said that he and Anderson have a time in mind they wish to finish in.

“The course is set to be around a 13:50, so we’ll be aiming for that and just try to run our hardest,” Peterson said.

The other meet held over the weekend will be the Indiana Relays at Bloomington, which is where a majority of the Butler track and field team will compete.