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Butterworth Caps Off Career With Athlete of Year Award
Lindsey Butterworth won 10 GNAC titles and also won seven All-American awards in a brilliant career (CJImagesNW).
Lindsey Butterworth won 10 GNAC titles and also won seven All-American awards in a brilliant career (CJImagesNW).

Thursday, June 4, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore.  –   Three sports, two NCAA titles and seven All-American awards.

It all adds up to the 2014-15 GNAC Female  Athlete of the Year award for Simon Fraser middle distance runner Lindsey Butterworth. 

That is the highest honor granted by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

She is the second SFU woman to win the award and the ninth track and field athlete selected in the annual vote of the conference’s athletic directors.

But, according to Simon Fraser coach Brit Townsend, there is much more to come for Butterworth, the 2015 NCAA Division II national champion in both the indoor and outdoor 800 meters.

“I am so excited to see Lindsey’s development as an athlete and competitor,” Townsend said. “She has emerged as one of the top 800 meter runners in Canada and I believe there is a great deal more to come.”

From her sophomore to senior season, Butterworth, who has a qualifying time in the 800 for Canada at the World University Games, has shown amazing improvement.

In 2013 she finished eighth at the NCAA national meet in the indoor 800 in a time of 2:20.18. 

Fast forward after a redshirt season to the 2015 season and she is the NCAA Division II national champion in a time of 2:08.44, a whopping 11.74 second improvement.

She has had similar results in the outdoor 800 chopping 7.15 seconds off her 2013 fourth-place All-American time of 2:10.03 to win the NCAA title in a near-record time of 2:02.88.

She missed the 25-year-old NCAA championship meet record by just four-tenths of a second and the GNAC record by 78/100ths of a second.

“Apart from her amazing improvements in her performances, she has also gained a strength of character and confidence that will help her achieve (in the future) the highest level in the sport,” Townsend, a former Canadian Olympian, said.

In addition to her four All-American performances in the indoor and outdoor 800, she also twice earned All-American recognition in the distance medley relay.

In 2013 she ran on SFU’s third place DMR team at the indoor meet.  The Clan moved up to second place in the DMR at last February’s national meet as Butterworth ran the anchor leg as SFU set a GNAC record in a time of 11:28.28.

Butterworth completed her collegiate eligibility in cross country in the fall of 2013, leading SFU to a seventh place team finish in the NCAA national meet.

Her 12th place individual finish earned her All-American honors and was the best by a GNAC athlete in the national meet.

At the conference level, Butterworth, who is a health science major, won five titles this year to increase her career total to 10, including four in relay events.

In the indoor meet at Nampa she swept the 800 (2:10.04) and mile (4:55.34) and also anchored a win in the distance medley relay in a time of 11:59.08.

In the outdoor meet at Monmouth, Butterworth (North Vancouver, BC) won the 800 in a time of 2:06.67 and ran the second leg on  the Clan’s championship 4x400 relay team.

“Lindsey is humble and hard working,” Townsend said.  “After five years of university competitions and the success she has enjoyed, she now believes anything is possible for her.

“She has battled through injuries and sickness and has had her share of disappoints like any athlete, but this had made her incredibly resilient.”

“I know she is ready for the next phase of her career and I am excited to be alongside.”

GNAC Female Athletes of the Year

 Years        Female                                                                               
2001-02     Stephanie Huffman, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field)
2002-03     Kerie Hughes, Seattle Pacific (Basketball)
2003-04     Liz Bishop, Western Washington (Volleyball)
2004-05     Danielle Ayers-Stamper, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field)
2005-06     LeAnne McGahuey, Central Washington (Volleyball)
2006-07     Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field and Cross Country
2007-08     Courtney Schneider, Western Washington (Volleyball)                 
2008-09     Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field and Cross Country)
2009-10     Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field and Cross Country)
2010-11     Sarah Porter, Western Washington (Track and Cross Country)
2011-12     Hanna Johansson, Alaska Anchorage (Basketball)
2012-13     Helen Crofts, Simon Fraser (Track and Field)
                   Ali Worthen, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field)
2013-14     Bobbi Knudsen, Montana State Billings (Basketball)
2014-15     Lindsey Butterworth, Simon Fraser (Track & Field)

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