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By Brian Fees
Southern Tier Sports Report
Lindsey Butler sat in the theater at Corning High School watching a video of her race at NCAA Division I indoor nationals in the 800 meters as Corning runners, and future runners, cheered as she took the lead on her way to the win.

A lot has changed for Butler since she graduated high school, but Tuesday was a bit of a trip down memory lane as the Corning Painted-Post graduate returned to the school to talk to athletes at CPP’s Youth track camp on Monday.

“It’s so fun,” Butler said of being home. “I love making the trip every year. My parents moved to South Carolina two years ago so the visits are kind of far and few between. But, there are people I let know first when I’m coming home because I think of them as good friends now, they aren’t just my coaches.”

This past winter was a magical time for the Corning-Painted Post graduate as she won the national title in the 800 meters.

On Tuesday Butler got to celebrate that moment with some of the people who always supported her.

“It means a lot,” Butler said. “They are the ones who knew I could do it before I did it, and before I knew I could do it. So, it’s special I get to share it with them. I haven’t seen them since this (winning nationals). I knew they were cheering me on from New York, but now they get to do it again, and embarrass me a little bit in the process.”

After winning nationals, things got tough for Butler as she missed the spring season with an injury. For Butler that just made her appreciate what happened in the winter even more.

“I think I’ve had time, especially with the injury,” Butler said. “I think it makes me appreciate it more and think about how unique of an experience it was, because I got to watch the races from home and it really made me appreciate it that much more.”

It’s special for Butler to be back running again.

“I’m really excited, I’m loving running again,” Butler said. “It was sad to not run for a while, but it made it fun to start running again and get back to getting in shape, so I’m really excited. Now, I’m really focused on being healthy and having fun with it, because as I saw it can be taken away in a minute.”

Watching the outdoor track and field season and not being able to compete just motivated Butler even more.

“I’m ready to come back because I saw a girl that wasn’t me win in outdoors and I knew that should have been more,” Butler said.

This week, Butler returned home and one of the first things she did was take a run around Corning, bringing back some memories.

“I felt like I was remembering all the runs we did in cross country,” Butler said. “When (Joe) Melanson would send us to go run to Carter and do hills and when he wasn’t looking we would just walk up the hill. So, it’s funny running past all the old places and thinking I think I’ve grown up a little bit these days.”

Having Corning athletes looking up to her, and listening to her talk about running is special, because she remembers looking up to the athletes who came before her.

“It’s so sweet,” Butler said. “I think when I was in high school everybody looked up to Jess Lawson. We thought she was so cool, and a lot of other people. I’m not saying I’m her or anything like that, but it feels special because I know how excited I was to see Jess and other people like that come around.”
IN TOP PHOTO: Corning graduate Lindsey Butler won a national title this past indoor season for Virginia Tech. PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES

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