BRENDAN KING | STAFF REPORTER
The stars of track and field in the Big East will show their talents this upcoming weekend at the Big East Indoor Track and Field Conference Championships.
The men’s team is coming off a ninth-place finish at the 10-team DePauw Classic indoor meet last weekend at DePauw University. The women took seventh place in the nine-team field. This was Butler’s last meet of the indoor season.
The men’s and women’s teams both sent partial teams to Greencastle for the event, according to butlersports.com.
So far this season, Butler has competed in the states of Indiana and Washington. It will travel east for the first time to go to the championships, held at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the New York Armory in New York City.
St. John’s University will be competing right in its backyard, only having to travel from nearby Queens, New York.
Butler has had an opportunity to train for this meet since early December. They have competed in a meet nearly every two weeks since then. Sophomore sprinter Bailey Beckham said that although this is a big meet for the team, the Bulldogs need to keep in mind that it is still early in the season.
“I think it’s important to remember that even though this is the conference championship, we still need to remember that we have a whole outdoor season to find improvement,” Beckham said.
Head coach Matt Roe said that he has been satisfied so far with the performance of the team in the indoor season.
“We have had some strong performances throughout the indoor season from our whole group,” Roe said. “We are excited to have two national elite athletes in All-Americans Mara Olson and Erik Peterson, as well as a conference champion in Nicole Hudec. All three are performing really well.”
Butler has nearly 30 underclassmen competing on the team right now. The Big East is comprised of numerous teams with athleticism and experience. This requires the upperclassmen on the team to have an important role on the team.
Beckham said the team’s older runners really push the younger members. He pointed out one senior in particular.
“Amy Wright has really been pushing the team at practice and meets,” Beckham said. “She pushes herself to the limit day in and day out, and that motivates the rest of us to do the same.”
Wright is a senior from Los Altos, California. Last season in indoor track, Wright matched three of her personal best times. She will attempt to do so again this coming weekend in New York.
Butler will not formally compete after this weekend’s indoor championships until March 21, when the outdoor season begins at the Bulldog Opener.