Hosting the second annual Butch Reynolds Invitational to open the 2015 outdoor track season, the Butler track and field team set six meet records and had a total of 11 first-place finishes Thursday at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Four of the meet records – including two national qualifying times – were set on the track.
The Butler men's 4x100-meter relay team of sophomores Edward Simmons, DeAndre Wade and freshman Jalen Gillie and Lamarion Arnold had a national qualifying time of 40.74 seconds, breaking last year's meet record of 41.89 seconds. Arnold also qualified for the outdoor national meet with a meet record time of 21.45 seconds in the men's 200-meter dash.
In the men's 400-meter dash, sophomore Donavan Ayers set a meet record crossing the finish line in 55.56 seconds, while sophomore Kennedy Chumba set a new mark in the men's 1,500-meter run with a time of 4.07.38 – besting former Grizzly Edwin Serem's 4:09.18 time last year.
Butler also set two meet records in the triple jump and long jump. Freshman Luis Aponte won the triple jump with a mark of 46' 5 ¼", edging out sophomore teammate Arsenije Savic by a half-foot. In the long jump, freshman Mikhail Micheaux took first with a meet record jump of 23' 3 ½". Micheaux, who placed sixth in the NJCAA Indoor Championships, narrowly beat freshman teammate Mohammed Abubakar by just a quarter of an inch.
The Grizzlies took the top four finishes in the men's long jump, with freshman Joshua Sharp (21' 10") and Aponte (21' 6 ¼") taking third and fourth, respectively.
Freshman sprinter Ona Giles had a pair of first-place finishes in the 200-meter dash (25.13 seconds) and 100-meter dash (12.61 seconds, while freshman vaulters Rachael Buzanowski (9' 6 ¾") and Danae Bina (9' ¼") placed first and second in the women's pole vault.
Other first-place winners for the men were sophomore Cody Frye in the 5,000-meter run (17:20.52) and the 4x400-meter relay team of sophomores Antonio McPherson, Ayers and freshman Ricky Grant and Theotis Johnson (3:24.58).
The Grizzlies also had seven runner-up finishes on the day, including the Butler 'B' men's squad in the 4x100-meter relay, as Grant, Johnson, Ayers and freshman Josh Sharp finished in 41.58 seconds. Other Grizzly individual men taking second were Wade (200-meter dash, 21.70 seconds), Aponte (400-meter dash, 49.36 seconds), Gillie (100-meter dash, 10.75 seconds) and McPherson (pole vault, 14' 1 ¼").
Butler had nine other top-five finishes at the meet, with two coming from freshman Kavan Mark in the men's javelin (167' 9", fourth) and hammer throw (114' 8", fifth). In the men's 1500-meter run, freshman Michael Sutcliffe (4:21.43) and sophomore Max Surmeier (4:24.66) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
For the men, Simmons (100-meter dash, 10.84) and freshman Shevon Blair (800-meter run, 1:57.83) placed third in their events, while sophomore Tricia Trupe took third in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase (13:41.44).
In the 400-meter dash, McPherson also took fourth in the men's race (51.22), while sophomore Sueshi-Ann Halliman (1:04.44) was fourth on the women's side.
Next up for Butler track will be the Texas Southern Relays held in Houston, Texas on March 20 and 21.