BRENDAN KING | STAFF REPORTER
With the arrival of the fresh air and blue skies of spring, not only are students spending more time outside, but also the Butler track and field team is beginning its outdoor season.
After a short break following the Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Bulldogs competed in the Bulldog Opener on March 21, the first outdoor meet of the season. Butler had the chance to get back in running shape and see where its athletes stood in terms of fitness.
Butler’s best performances came from sophomore Kristen Seiler and senior Nicole Hudec. Seiler finished first in the women’s 800-meter run with a time of just over 1:09. Hudec finished third in the women’s 100-meter dash with a time of 12.79. Finishing ahead of her were Breanna Walker from Loyola University Chicago and Tashuana Yapchung from Eastern Kentucky University.
Butler will participate next at the Oliver Nickoloff Invitational at the University of Cincinnati. The Bearcats of Cincinnati are hoping to remain champions of the event after winning in 2014. Other big name schools will be competing in the event as well, such as the Kentucky Wildcats, University of Dayton Flyers, and the Miami University (Ohio) Redhawks.
The Bulldogs worked hard this spring during the indoor season after senior Mara Olson qualified for national competition last month. Olson has served as a role model on the team for the young runners. With many important meets coming up from coast to coast, the younger runners said that they rely on the older members of the team to lead by example.
Freshman Dani Aravich said Olson provided a good leadership voice on the team and has helped her transition to Big East-caliber running.
“Freshman year is difficult because it is so much different than running in high school,” Aravich said. “It is great having people like Mara on the team because she is so dedicated and such a good role model.”
Butler will compete at Stanford University, Miami University of Ohio, Villanova University and Indiana University this spring.
Numerous runners have set goals for themselves, whether to produce faster times or to compete on the national level. Aravich said the team is just focused on competing as one.
“I think we just have to remember to keep our goals in mind,” Aravich said. “We have a lot of meets coming up, and each is an opportunity to get better and improve our times.”