The Butler track teams got four first-place finishes as both the men and the women finished fourth in their respective team standings at the Region VI Outdoor Championships held this weekend at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Butler dominated the men's 1,500-meter dash as Albert Meier, Luke Johnston and Kennedy Chumba finished first, second and third. Meier saluted the crowd as he crossed the finish line with a time of 4:03.14, while Johnston was just over two seconds behind (4:05.80) followed by Chumba (4:06.24). Meier also finished second for Butler in the men's 5,000-meter run, edged out by Colby's Chris Speaks by just over a half-second.
Also on the men's side, Jalen Gillie won the 100-meter dash, taking first with a time of 10.39 seconds. Gillie was sixth in the 200-meter dash, while teammate Lamarion Arnold was fourth. Arnold also placed sixth in the 100.
Mohammed Abubakar had a pair of top-three finishes, as he placed second in the long jump (23' 8-3/4") and third in the triple jump (49' 6-1/4").
The Butler men also placed second in both the men's 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays. The 4x100 team of DeAndre Wade, Arnold, Gillie and Eli-Hall Thompson finished the relay in 40.59 seconds, just .23 milliseconds behind Barton. The 4x400 team of Donavan Ayers. Emmanuel Mwewa, Wade and Arnold completed the race with a time of 3:13.65.
On the women's side, Rachael Buzanowski won the women's pole vault to lead off the meet on Friday. Buzanowski cleared 11' 3 3/4" in her first attempt to win the event. Teammate Danae Bina finished third in the event, setting a personal-best vault of 10'.
On Saturday, Terra Flores led off by winning the steeplechase, as she cruised across the line in a time of 12:03.50. Flores later finished as the runner-up in the 5,000 meter run (21:07.73).
Butler got a silver-medal finish from Kristina Vujanic in the heptathlon on Friday as well. Vujanic won the shot put event and took second in the 800-meter run. Sophomore Lindi Young finished third in the 10,000 meter run (43:17.13).
The fourth-place finishes under first-year head coach Ryan Turner are a marked improvement over a year ago, when the women finished eighth and the men were 11th.
Next up for the Butler track and field team is the NJCAA National Outdoor Championships, which will be held in Hutchinson on May 14-16. The Butler men have qualified 10 individuals and all three relay teams, while the women will send three athletes.