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NEWS: National Champion Lindsey Butler Sustains Season-Ending Injury

On Thursday, Virginia Tech superstar Lindsey Butler announced via Instagram that she has sustained a season-ending injury. The injury, which first became an issue following the prelims of the 800 meters at the most recent NCAA Indoor Championships, is a stress fracture in her metatarsal.

Butler ran through the injury in her national meet final, but noted in her post that she had "hardly been able to walk" 24 hours before the race.

The Virginia Tech ace went on to win the 800 meter national title, running 2:01 in the process.

Based on her post, Butler is expected to come back for the 2022 cross country season and, based on her available eligibility, for the 2023 indoor and outdoor track seasons as well.

When evaluating the middle and long distances, Butler became one of the most dominant names in the NCAA this past winter. Prior to this indoor track season, the Virginia Tech standout had already run a personal best of 2:01 for 800 meters multiple times and had earned two All-American honors in the event.

She had also run a 1500 meter personal best of 4:14 last spring.

However, Butler truly elevated her game in 2022.

This past winter, Butler opened her indoor campaign with a blistering 2:43 mark for 1000 meters. She later earned a convincing victory at the ACC Indoor Championships the day after splitting 4:29 on the anchor leg of the Hokies' title-winning ACC DMR lineup.

At the indoor national meet, Butler masterfully navigated through the 800 meter finals, running 2:01 to take home gold while fending off a rapidly rising talent in BYU's Claire Seymour.

Butler was eventually voted as Division One's "Most Valuable Runner" for the 2022 indoor track season by The Stride Report's contributing staff.

With the women's indoor national champion in the 800 meters -- and the presumptive title favorite for the event this spring -- now out for the season, the women's 800 meter title now seems somewhat open for the taking.

Given her recent 2:01 personal best from the indoor track season, her history of peaking in the postseason and her silver medal performance at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championships, BYU's Claire Seymour may now be viewed as the favorite for gold come June.

However, other women such as Kennesaw State's Sarah Hendrick and LSU's Katy-Ann McDonald have both run under 2:01 this season with NCAA co-lead marks of 2:00.98.

Meanwhile, Ole Miss' Sintayehu Vissa, BYU's Lauren Ellsworth and Florida's Imogen Barrett have all shown elite-level fitness in the 800 meters to pair with their outstanding 1500/mile prowess.

Could a veteran like Villanova's McKenna Keegan play a role when it comes to the title chase? What about Michigan's Aurora Rynda? Or Texas' Valery Tobias?

Or maybe it's someone entirely new and unexpected...

Butler's absence now leaves a massive gold medal void in the women's 800 meters this spring. This could prompt certain middle distance stars with top 1500 meter times to drop down in distance once we reach the regional and national meets which are just one month away.

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