LUBBOCK, Texas — The 10th-ranked Butler women's track and field team placed in two events during Day 1 of the NJCAA Indoor National Championships at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center.
Butler scored 13 points with eight events scored on the first day, finishing in a tie for ninth place heading into Saturday's final events. Among Jayhawk Conference teams, the Grizzlies are fifth behind Cowley (21, 5th), Barton (20, 6th), Highland (15, t-7th) and Hutchinson (15, t-7th).
Roberts had a top clearance of 3.50 meters (11'-5.75"). After clearing the bar at 3.40 meters on her third attempt, Roberts made 3.50 on her first try. Paradise Valley's Natalie Hendrix and Iowa Western's Salome' Brugler both cleared on their second attempts. Neither of three vaulters were able to clear 3.60, which allowed Roberts to finish second due to a tiebreaker. Cowley's Thais Gomes won the event at 3.60.
In the distance medley relay, Butler and Cowley made their final handoffs within .25 milliseconds of each other and just five seconds back of leaders Iowa Central and New Mexico. The Grizzlies finished fourth with a time of 12:47.91, just 14.6 seconds behind Cowley. Iowa Central narrowly beat New Mexico by 0.43 milliseconds, crossing the line at 11:51.32 to win the event.
The Grizzlies had four athletes advance to Saturday's finals after qualifying during Friday's preliminaries:
- 800m run: Conangela Senior (2:21.31, 6th), Jade Searles (2:22.60, 8th).
- 400m dash: Davia Smith (55.57, 4th).
- 200m dash: Charnice Anderson (24.16, 5th).
Butler had a pair of ninth-place finishers in the high jump and long jump events. Sophomore Jalicia Neil had a top clearance of 1.61 meters (5'-3.25") in the high jump, while freshman Kai Lewis made the long jump finals with a leap of 5.41 meters (17'-9"). Lewis just missed scoring by 2.25 inches.
The Grizzlies also had three sprinters in the preliminaries of the 60-meter dash, but failed to qualify for the finals. Freshman Reina Ryan had the best time among the Grizzlies, finishing 16th with a 7.61 time. Ryan also finished 11th in both the 400-meter dash (57.07 seconds) and 200m (24.55), just missing the top nine to qualify for finals.
On Saturday, Butler will be running in the 4x800m and 4x400m relays, while Searles will compete in the 1-mile race. Running events start at 12:30 p.m., beginning with the women's 4x800-meter relay.