IU alum Kind Butler part of world-record breaking 4×400 meter team at World Indoor Championships

Former Indiana sprinter Kind Butler ran the third leg on Team USA’s 4×400 meter-relay team that won the gold medal at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Poland and broke a world record in the process. The Americans finished the relay in 3 minutes, 2.13 seconds to shatter a 15-year-old world record.

The Indianapolis native ran the third leg in 45.41 seconds to give the USA team a sizable lead in the event. He joined first leg Kyle Clemons, second leg David Verburg and anchor leg Calvin Smith. 

A release from Indiana athletics follows.

SOPOT, Poland – Indiana track & field alum Kind Butler III and Team USA broke a 15-year-old men’s 4X400m Indoor World Record on the final day of the 2014 World Indoor Championships on the final day of competition at Argo Arena.

USA’s men’s 4x400m captured the gold medal and finished with the first and only World record mark clocking 3:02.13. Kyle Clemons (Lawrence, Kan.), the 400m bronze medalist, handed off after the first leg just steps behind Great Britain, but David Verburg (Gainesville, Fla.) gave Team USA the lead on the second carry, before Butler (Indianapolis, Ind.) sprinted away with a 45.41 third leg to give the squad a solid lead. Calvin Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) went out very calm and controlled on the anchor leg and was stellar over the final 100 to clock 45.12.

“I was running for my life,” Butler said. “I couldn’t let these guys down. David gave it to me in such a good place. I kind of blacked out in the race, I think. I told these guys before we raced that I was giving them my heart.”

“Kind is a great talent and worked hard at Indiana and since he left to get to where he is today,” IU coach Ron Helmer said. “He competed well on a world stage and took advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The men’s 4×4 gave the U.S. its fifth consecutive win in the event and eighth gold medal of the championships.

Butler is the first world-record holder from Indiana track & field since 1957 and first world indoor champion since DeDee Nathan won the pentathlon at the 1999 meet.

Butler was an eight-time All-American at Indiana and won the 200m dash and anchored the 4X400m relay to secure the 2011 Big Ten Championship for Indiana, their first title since 1992.

Indiana has had 28 Olympians and 14 student-athletes go on to win medals at the Olympics and Helmer said he is proud of all of their accomplishments.

 

“Once a Hoosier, always a Hoosiers,” Helmer said. “It is great to see those student-athletes graduate from Indiana and represent our university and program on that level.”