PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Butler track and field teams have added another national champion to their ranks, as Tavarius Wright won the men's 60 meter dash at the NJCAA meet on Saturday.
Wright blazed through the race in a time of 6.61 seconds, which is the new Butler school record in the event. He becomes Butler's first indoor national champion since Eli Hall-Thompson won the 200-meter race in a time of 21.25 in 2016.
As a team, the Butler men finished 19th while the women finished 14th nationally.
"I'm really proud of the individuals we took to nationals," head coach Dustin Mettler said. "They competed at a high level and laid everything on the line for the team."
For Wright, it caps a season of success. He was the Region VI champion in a time of 6.64 in the 60 two weeks ago.
"Tavarius was consistent all year long," Mettler said. "He took care of business in the fall preparing. He believed in the coaching of coach (Greg) Franklin and it all paid off. I'm very proud of what kind of runner Tavarius has become."
Wright, a sophomore from Memphis, also credited Franklin, who has coached four individual national champions as well as the national champion 4x100 meter relay team at the 2016 NJCAA outdoor meet.
"All goals can be accomplished with hard work and the help of coach Franklin," Wright said.
In addition to Wright's championship, Butler got a top-10 finish in the 400 meter dash from Alex Grays (47.68) and the 4x400 meter relay team of Tavarius Wright, Cardey Bienvenue, Agerian Jackson and Ronaldo Griffiths finished ninth in a time of 3:19.02.
On the women's side, Octavia Cato took third in the 60 meter dash in 7.41. She also placed sixth in the 200 in a time of 24.60.
Shenelle Tomlinson placed third nationally in the 600 meter run in 1:35.94. Keyara Robinson was fifth in a time of 11.63.
Butler will now switch gears and prepare quickly for the start of outdoor season. The Grizzlies are scheduled to host the Butch Reynolds Invitational at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex on Friday, March 8.