JOE HASENSTAB | Staff Reporter
The Butler track and field team had a record-breaking weekend at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame.
The Bulldogs set new school records in four events, and several individuals set new personal bests in the 30-team meet.
Coach Matt Roe said he was very pleased with the team’s outing in South Bend.
“We performed really, really well,” Roe said. “Across the board we had great performances, and I thought our sprint-jump group really stepped up and did a great job in particular. And that starts with Nicole Hudec, Nigel Spears and Alex Berry.”
Those three athletes all set personal bests at Notre Dame. Hudec, a junior, broke two of her own school records. Her triple jump record fell when she jumped 11.68 meters, and she beat her record in the 60-meter dash by recording a time of 7.88 seconds.
Senior Alex Berry ran the 500-meter race in 1:03.62, which was good enough to break his school record.
While not a new school record, senior Nigel Spears set a personal best in long jump with a 6.82-meter jump.
Fellow seniors Andrew Wallace and Matt Schumacker later joined Berry and Spears in the 1,600-meter relay. The team placed first in its event and set a school record with a time of 3:16.69.
Roe said other distance runners that competed this week, several of whom set personal records, also impressed him.
Junior James Martin ran a lifetime-best 14:28.10 in the 5-kilometer race, freshman Maddie Westerhoff completed the 3,000-meter run in 10:15, and freshman Alex VanHoof ran the first 5-kilometer race of her life in a time of 17:38.
The coach also said he was glad to see senior Katie Clark start her season at the invitational and that he was impressed by junior Tom Curr’s mile time of 4:03.
Next weekend, the team has two meets—one at Iowa State and the other at Purdue. These are the final events before the Bulldogs compete in the Big East Championships.
As of right now, Roe said nine athletes will head to Iowa State and the other members of the team will either go to Purdue or have the weekend off.
One of the runners going to Iowa State’s meet is sophomore Erik Peterson.
“I’m for sure competing in the 3k and possibly the DMR,” Peterson said. “We’re going to give it a go, so it should be exciting”
DMR stands for distance medley relay, an event in which a team of four athletes team up to complete 1,200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs, in that order.
With about a week and a half until the conference meet, Roe said this weekend’s meets will be used as tune-up for the team to help prepare athletes for the conference meet.
“We’ll definitely be trying to sharpen up, because most of the work of the season has been done at this point,” he said. “So we’re just trying to get rested, make sure we stay healthy and try and sharpen up in the next couple of weeks.”
Peterson said the goal for the Big East Championships is for each athlete to do his or her best and score as many points as possible for the team.
“It’s really just a team effort, just trying to put it all out there and put it all together on the same day as a team,” Peterson said.