Meadville Tribune

Sports

May 6, 2012

Butler's javelin title among Gators' quality finishes

MEADVILLE — The slow clap. That go-to device for when an unoriginal movie tries to muster up an inspirational moment. But does it work in real life?

Well, Allegheny College senior Lauren Butler received the slow clap treatment from her teammates and fans for her last attempt at the javelin during the North Coast Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which finished up Saturday at AC’s Robertson Field.

And with that steady concussion building in her ears, Butler hauled off and tossed a career-best distance of 42.99 meters (141 feet) to claim her fourth consecutive conference title in the event.

The throw was the fifth-best javelin performance in all of Division III this season.

“I think it was the slow clap,” said Butler’s teammate and fellow javelin thrower Claire DeLucia. “Taylor (Endress) and I started slow-clapping for her. So we’ve got to take a little bit of credit for that.”

Butler already had one conference title in the bag, winning the shot put on Friday with a distance of 12.31 meters. She also posted a sixth-place finish in the hammer throw (41.15) and a seventh-place distance in the discus (31.64) during the meet.

For her efforts, she was named the conference’s Field Athlete of the Year for the fourth time.

Butler said she indeed felt inspired during the meet, which would be the final conference competition of her phenomenal career.

“I just think it was this feeling inside that you’ve got to do this now or you’re never going to do it,” she said. “And it was there. It was fun being at home. It was a great feeling. And everything was just there. It worked out really well.”

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of the slow clap, however.

“I was a little nervous about that at first,” said Butler. “I’ve never had a slow clap.”

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