March 30, 2009
Butler junior Kris Gauson, who emerged as a dominant middle distance runner in his first season with the Bulldogs, has been named 2009 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year. He was selected for the top league award by a vote of Horizon League track and field coaches.
Gauson, the younger brother of former Butler runner and current assistant coach Darren Gauson, was the Horizon League champion in the 800 meter run, winning the race in a Butler record time of 1:51.07. He broke the previous Butler mark of 1:51.18, set by Rob Krar in 2000, and he topped the NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 1:51.10. He only ran the 800 meter race twice during the indoor season!
The Edinburgh, Scotland native also ran under the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in the mile twice, posting a time of 4:00.99 at the Husky Classic and 4:01.48 at the Alex Wilson Last Chance Meet. His 4:00.99 was the second-fastest time in school history, trailing only the Butler record of 4:00.53 set by All-American Scott Overall, and his top two mile times ranked among the fastest ever recorded in the Horizon League.
Gauson competed in the mile four times, and in each, he ran faster than any other non-Butler runner in the Horizon League. He led the league in the mile by nearly seven seconds, and he was nearly 10 seconds faster than the first non-Butler athlete.
The Butler ace, who missed competing in the NCAA Championships in the mile by 0.88 in what was the fastest field assembled in NCAA history, finished the year ranked #25 in the nation in the mile. He was the only Horizon League athlete to top the NCAA provisional qualifying mark in two events and one of just three league athletes to register a qualifying mark, joining teammates Andy Baker (5,000) and Tommy Davies (5,000).
Butler athletes have captured Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year recognition in five of the past six years. Gary Blackman (2004), Andrew Sherman (2005) and Overall (2006, 2007) were previous recipients of the award.
Sprinter Kelsey Conrad of Milwaukee, who won league titles in both the 60 meter and 200 meter races, was selected as the 2009 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Year.