February 10, 2011

Two Distance Standouts Sign With Butler

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler’s already strong distance running program took another step forward with the signing of two elite prospects.  Set to join the Bulldogs’ track and cross country programs next year are high school All-American James Martin of Fort Wayne, Ind., and English Schools Champion Tom Curr of Stroud, U.K.

“Signing James and Tom is a major coup for us,” said Butler head coach Matt Roe, a six-time Horizon League Coach of the Year.  “They are exactly the type of guys we want to represent our program.  Both are outstanding students with a desire and ability to run at the elite Division I level.”

Martin was one of the top prep runners in the country this year.  He placed 11th at the Nike Team National Championships in Portland, Ore., earning second team All-American recognition, and then came in 12th at the 2010 Footlocker National Championships in San Diego, Calif., receiving third team All-American honors.  The Carroll High School standout is a four-time All-State runner in cross country and the first Indiana athlete to win four Semi-State individual cross country titles.

The first Footlocker finalist to sign with Butler, Martin was the state runner-up in the 3200 meter run at the 2009 Indiana track and field championships.  He has personal bests of 9:12.94 in the 3200 and 15:06.6 in the cross country 5K.  Heavily recruited nationally, Martin chose Butler over several Big Ten schools.

“We are committed to bring the best student-athletes to Butler with a strong emphasis on recruiting the Midwest,” stated Roe.  “Signing James is a big step in the direction we want to be headed.  At the end of this recruiting cycle, we expect to announce an outstanding class of top Midwest distance runners.”

Curr, who attended The Marling School, was the 2009 English Schools Champion at 3,000 meters, and runner-up at the 2010 U17 English National Cross Country Championships.  He was sixth in the 1500 final at the 2010 Great Britain World Junior Track and Field Trials.

“I really believe we have identified a true gem in Tom Curr,” noted Roe.  “He is a driven young man with outstanding physical tools.  He possesses the foot-speed to run at the elite level with the aerobic potential to excel in NCAA cross country as well.  He has run very quick with a relatively low volume of training, so we believe he will have a tremendously high performance ceiling.”

The gifted British runner, who has represented England in international competition three times, placed in the Junior Race for England in the 2010 Lotto International Cross Cup in Belgium, and he was ninth for England at the 2010 Juan Muguerza Cross International in Eligobier, Spain, running on the same team with current Butler athlete Harry Ellis.  Curr has personal bests of 1:53.1 in the 800, 3:48.34 in the 1500 and 8:21.32 in the 3,000.