Skip to content
Longmont's Matt Butcher, middle, edges past Widefield's Patrich Richards for the win in the 200 meter dash finals of the 4A State Track and Field Championships in Lakewood Saturday.
  
Photo by Joshua Lawton / Camera / May 17, 2008
S0518STATET66_K.jpg
JOSHUA LAWTON
Longmont’s Matt Butcher, middle, edges past Widefield’s Patrich Richards for the win in the 200 meter dash finals of the 4A State Track and Field Championships in Lakewood Saturday. Photo by Joshua Lawton / Camera / May 17, 2008 S0518STATET66_K.jpg

When Matt Butcher headed for Eugene, Ore., in the fall of 2008, he had visions of winning races and picking up speed.

Nearly four years later, he’s starting over.

Butcher, who starred in track and field at Longmont High School, is in his first year with the Colorado program after three years at Oregon.

“Definitely glad to be back,” he said. “I have better connections and more support. That always helps.”

Butcher graduated from Longmont in 2008. That spring, he won two state titles (200 meters and 1,600-meter relay), finished second in the 400 meters and third in the 100. That all helped the Trojans win a team championship.

Throughout his prep career, Butcher won four individual state championships, had two runner-up finishes and reached the podium in all 12 state meet races. He was the Longmont Times-Call track and field athlete of the year in 2007 and 2008.

For all of his success in high school, he earned a scholarship to Oregon, but his three years as a Duck didn’t go as planned.

“The whole process was humbling,” he said.

Butcher actually got slower in college. To this day, his personal records (47.01 seconds in the 400 and 21.28 in the 200) came during high school. His best 400 time at Oregon (48.66) was slower than what he ran as a sophomore in high school.

“Just running poorly for that long was definitely humbling,” he said. “It was hard. A lot of people had expectations for me.”

Oregon’s track program has a great reputation for producing stars. Unfortunately, the training philosophy didn’t fit Butcher well. Oregon has endurance-based training for its 400-meter runners, and Butcher said his body needed sprint-based training.

“I wish I would have run better, but I was doing everything I could,” he said. “It wasn’t that I wasn’t putting in the effort; it was that the system just wasn’t working there for me. The training wasn’t what I needed. It was definitely frustrating. It was hard to fall back that much.”

With his performance slipping, Butcher lost his scholarship for his final year at Oregon. At that point, he made the decision to come home. He’s now living in Longmont and enjoying his time as a Buffalo.

“I’m building a lot more confidence,” he said. “I have a lot more confidence in my speed.”

CU assistant coach Drew Morano has allowed Butcher to train with the 100- and 200-meter runners and that has made a difference, Butcher said. He ran for the Buffs during the indoor season, but is redshirting this spring and running unattached. That leaves him with one more outdoor season, in 2013.

During a recent meet at Colorado State, Butcher ran the 200 in 21.89 seconds, his best non-wind-aided time as a collegian. He also ran 48.66 seconds in the 400, matching the best time he had at Oregon.

“This early in that season, that is pretty promising,” he said.

Butcher, who has always had a grounded perspective on his talent and expectations, isn’t dreaming of NCAA titles and record-breaking times in 2013.

“I just want to get back my speed and come back next year and be able to help the team,” he said.