May 2, 2013

Butler Track Set For A-10 Championship

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler's track and field squads will look to add to an already strong outdoor season when they make their first appearance in the Atlantic 10 Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship on Saturday, May 4, in Charlotte, N.C.  The two-day league championship is being hosted by Charlotte at the Irwin Belk Track & Field Center.

Charlotte is the defending A-10 champion for both men and women.  Joining the 49ers on the men's side will be Butler, Rhode Island, Duquesne, Fordham, La Salle, Massachusetts, Richmond, Saint Joseph's, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU and Xavier.  The women's field will include Charlotte, Butler, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint Joseph's, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU and Xavier.

Butler will bring a strong middle distance and distance crew to the conference meet.  The Bulldogs captured both the men's and women's A-10 cross country titles last fall, and head coach Matt Roe's squads boast the top-ranked athlete in six different middle distance and distance events.

Junior Katie Clark has three of those top rankings.  The Butler cross country All-American will enter this weekend's competition with the A-10's top outdoor performance in the women's 1500 meter run (4:17.94), the women's 5,000 meter run (15:43.51) and the women's 10,000 meter run (33:36.36).  Clark's times in the 5,000 and 10,000 both shattered Butler school records, while she narrowly missed a school mark in the 1500.

Sophomore Tom Curr has the league's best marks in both the men's 800 (1:50.25) and the men's 1500 (3:42.79), while sophomore Kodi Mullins enters the conference meet with the top time in the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase (8:55.87).

Butler boasts the top four individuals in the men's 1500, and the top three individuals in the women's 5,000.   

The Bulldogs entered this week with a No. 15 ranking for both men and women in the Great Lakes Region, the first time this season that both teams have cracked the "Top 15."  Nationally, Butler's women are ranked #67, the highest of any women's team in the A-10, while Butler's men are #144, third-best among A-10 teams.

Competition at the A-10 Championship begins at 9 a.m. (ET) on Saturday with the heptathlon.  The decathlon begins at 9:10 a.m., and field events follow at 11 a.m.  The first running event on Saturday will start at 12:30 p.m.  The finals of the 3,000 meter steeplechase and the 10,000 will be on Saturday evening, with all remaining running finals on Sunday, May 5.

This weekend will be Butler's final track and field appearance in the A-10.  Beginning next season, Butler will be competing in the new BIG EAST.