Butler track adds to nationals list with performance at PSU Invite

Butler track adds to nationals list with performance at PSU Invite

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Butler track and field squad continued its trend of adding qualifiers for nationals  Saturday with a solid performance at the Pittsburg State Invitational.

Butler had five new individuals became national qualifiers, while four current qualifiers achieved marks in other events. The Grizzlies added another relay team as well, giving the team a total of 23 individuals and two relays in 19 events for the NJCAA National Indoor Meet.

Running against four-year schools, mostly at the NCAA Division II level, Butler managed to come away with six top-10 finishes while adding to the list of national qualifiers.

The Butler men dominated both the 200 and 400-meter dashes with a combined total of eight personal bests on the day. Freshman sprinter Quintaveon Poole improved on his national qualifying time in the 400, winning the event and setting a facility record with a time of 47.67 seconds. Freshman Trevions Rouchon (48.91, 11th) and Antonio Coleman (48.93, 12th) were two new additions to qualify for nationals.

In the 200-meter dash, Butler had three top-10 finishes – all hitting national qualifying marks – with sophomore Eli Hall-Thompson leading the way with a runner-up finish at 21.16 seconds. Poole qualified for his second event by taking fourth at 21.38 seconds, while sophomore Lamarion Arnold placed ninth at 21.69.

Sophomore Shevon Blair qualified in the men's 800-meter run, coming in under four seconds (1:56.00) of the national standard time. Blair ran the anchor leg for the men's 4x400-meter relay team who qualified for nationals with a time of 3:16.18. Arnold, James Hambrick, Rouchon and Blair placed eighth overall at the meet.

Sophomore Nolan Hesse, who qualified in the men's 5,000-meter run last week at the Missouri Southern Open, also added a second event by hitting the standard time in the 3,000-meter dash (8:56.09). Freshman Elijah Smith improved his time in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.48 seconds during preliminaries.

Freshman Landon Cuskelly took sixth overall in the high jump as he cleared 1.98 meters.

On the women's side, sophomore sprinter Ona Giles was the lone female addition to the national qualifier list for the Grizzlies. Giles qualified in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.35 seconds.

Freshman Sheila Samoei qualified in the 3,000-meter run (11:09.63), giving her two events as she met the standard time last week in the 5,000. Sophomore Rachael Buzanowski improved on her qualifying mark in the pole vault, clearing 3.36 meters and placing ninth overall.

The women's 4x400-meter relay team also improved on its national qualifying time by over four seconds. Kristina Vujanic, Angel Malone, Helen Thames and Courtney Willis completed the relay in 4:01.14, finishing 14th overall.

Freshman Valeriya Kostiuk placed fourth in the high jump, clearing 1.70 meters.

The Grizzlies will next be in action on Friday at the Missouri Southern Lion Open in Joplin, MO.