NEW ORLEANS--Junior Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dublin, Ireland) and sophomore Nicole Hutchinson (West Vancouver, B.C.) were named honorable mention All-Americans for the outdoor track & field season in an announcement Monday afternoon by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The pair represented Villanova at the NCAA Championships last week, where they competed in the 800 meters and the 1500 meters, respectively.
Cleirigh Buttner competed at the outdoor national meet for the second straight year and advanced to the semifinal round of the 800 meters. She ran her fastest collegiate race at the NCAA East Preliminary when she recorded a time of 2:02.11 in the national quarterfinal heats. Cleirigh Buttner also was the BIG EAST champion in the 1500 meters and was named the Collegiate Women’s Athlete of the Meet for the relay events at the Penn Relays. She anchored the Wildcats to Championship of America titles in the 4x1500 meter relay and the 4x800 meter relay, in addition to running the 800 meter leg of Villanova’s champion distance medley relay.
With her finish at the NCAA Championships last week, Cleirigh Buttner is now a five-time All-American spanning the indoor and outdoor seasons. She earned second team All-America honors outdoors in the 800 meters last year and has also garnered three career indoor All-America honors. She was an honorable mention selection as part of the Wildcats distance medley relay as a freshman in 2015, finished as a second team performer in the 800 meters in 2016 and most recently was a first team honoree in the Mile this year.
Hutchinson reached the semifinal round of the 1500 meters after recording personal bests in consecutive races at the NCAA East Preliminary meet. She posted a time of 4:18.48 in the national first round and then eclipsed that mark by nearly five seconds when she crossed the finish line in 4:13.71 during the quarterfinal heats. Hutchinson made her first career appearance at the outdoor NCAA Championships and recorded a time of 4:21.01 in a tightly-contested heat in Oregon.
The past year of competition was a breakthrough one for Hutchinson, who established herself as a contender on the national stage. She competed at the national championships both indoors and outdoors, and was a second-team All-American indoors in the Mile in addition to earning honorable mention accolades for the outdoor season. Prior to the NCAA outdoor meet, Hutchinson was the runner-up to Cleirigh Buttner in the BIG EAST 1500 meters and also anchored Villanova to a second place finish and All-BIG EAST honors in the 4x800 meter relay.
Hutchinson starred for the Wildcats at the Penn Relays, where she ran a leg of all three relays that made up the team’s rare “distance triple” at the meet. Hutchinson led off the distance medley relay and the 4x800 meter relay in addition to running the third leg of the 4x1500 relay. During the past year, she established new personal bests at every distance from 800 meters through 3000 meters.
Villanova has earned a total of 82 All-America honors for the outdoor season, including having at least one All-American in each of the last 10 years. Combining the cross country, indoor and outdoor track seasons, the Wildcats women’s program has earned 315 all-time All-America honors.