Butler Track To Open Outdoor Season

Katie Clark

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler's track and field squads will compete in two locations when they open the 2013 outdoor season on Friday and Saturday, March 29-30.  Head coach Matt Roe will send several competitors to the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday evening and a larger contingent to the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday.

The chance for Butler's entire squad to open the outdoor campaign this weekend nearly didn't happen.  The Bulldogs were scheduled to compete at the Mike Poehlein Invitational at Purdue University, but that meet was canceled because of weather issues.  Fortunately, the Bulldogs were able to gain late entry into the meet hosted by the University of Cincinnati.

"We are really excited to open our outdoor season as a full program this weekend.  We are grateful to the University of Cincinnati's track staff.  They have offered us a great competitive opportunity," stated Roe.

With most of the Butler team remaining in the Midwest, Roe will take six athletes to California to compete on Friday against a top field of distance runners.  Entered in the Stanford meet from Butler will be seniors Katie Clark and Lauren McKillop, juniors Tom Anderson and Craig Jordan, sophomore Mara Olson and freshman Olivia Pratt.

Clark and Anderson will make their debut in the 10,000 meter run at Stanford.  Clark earned All-America honors with a "Top 25" finish at last year's NCAA Cross Country Championship, while Anderson was runner-up in both the 3,000 and 5,000 at the Atlantic 10 Conference Indoor Championship.

McKillop, Olson and Pratt are entered in the 5,000 meter run.  McKillop was runner-up in the 3,000 at the A-10 Championship, and she was a qualifier in the 5,000 meter run at the NCAA East Regional.  Olson, who will debut in the 5,000, won the A-10 indoor 3,000 meter title and finished third in the conference mile.  Pratt, named the A-10 Most Outstanding Rookie in cross country, did not run during the indoor season, and she will be making her collegiate debut.  She's coming off an 11th place finish at the U.S. Junior Cross Country Championships.

Jordan, a 2012 NCAA East Regional qualifier and 2011 Horizon League champ, will compete in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

"The group headed to Stanford is arguably the strongest we have ever sent to Palo Alto," noted Roe.  "We have a handful of athletes who are debuting at new distances.  Everyone is in fantastic shape and ready in one of the top fields in the NCAA this year."

Saturday's meet at Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati will begin with field events at 10 a.m.  Running events will start at noon.