The Butler Brothers

Athletes and brothers, Kole and Sy Butler have been teammates off the rubber their entire lives. They have found success running together in the shuttle hurdle relay.

May 30, 2014

K. Butler jumps over a hurdle in the 110 meter hurdles. K. Butler finished in  14.98, 11 places  ahead of West's Elliot Young.
K. Butler jumps over a hurdle in the 110 meter hurdles at the State meet on May 23rd. K. Butler finished in 14.98, 11 places ahead of West’s Elliot Young.


K. Butler sprints the 4x100 meter dash at State alongside Chuck Riley '11, Cory Lindsey '12, and Bryson Runge '11. The team finished in fourth with a time of 42.52.
K. Butler sprints the 4×100 meter dash at State alongside Chuck Riley ’11, Cory Lindsey ’12, and Bryson Runge ’11. The team finished in fourth with a time of 42.52.

They share a house, a laptop, a car, parents, and a track team. Brothers Kole and Sy Butler have just recently emerged as shuttle hurdle relay teammates, but have been friends outside of the team for their entire lives.

“I feel good about running the shuttle with my brother,” S. Butler said. “I know he’s good and I know he’s fast, so he brings something to the team.”

Kole and Sy Butler, along with Cory Lindsey ‘14 and Kevin Buell ‘14, competed in the shuttle hurdle relay at Drake, earning an eighth place finish. However, finishing first in this event at the Forwald/Coleman relays gave the boys a boost of energy and a shot of confidence.

“It was a really great moment,” S. Butler said. “It was a lot of fun. Kole and I fist-bumped.”

Although K. Butler knew his relay team’s abilities, he was not expecting them to place as well as they did at F/C.

“I didn’t really expect to win because it was our first time running that team together,” K. Butler said. “I didn’t know whether or not we’d be able to compete with some of the top teams in the state, but we did.”

The shuttle hurdle was a pair effort long in the making. K. Butler began his now six year track career by running in the Hershey’s track meet in sixth grade. S. Butler began his by competing on the seventh grade track team.

However, after running in junior high, K. Butler chose to play soccer freshman year instead. Sophomore year, after being chased down by the boys track relays coach, Mike Moore, K. Butler made the decision to switch spring sports.

“Coach Moore told me, ‘You, come and run track. I’m not going to let you play soccer!’” K. Butler said.

Even after joining track, K. Butler didn’t find the hurdles straight away. Instead he began running in the 400 meter and 100 meter dashes. He was convinced into hurdling by Jake Leohr ‘14 and Coach Moore.

“I guess I’m just kind of naturally good at the hurdles,” K. Butler said. “I mean I work hard, but I don’t think harder than other people.”

K. Butler’s decision to hurdle inspired his future teammate and brother, S. Butler, to follow in his hurdling footsteps.

“Hurdling looked fun watching Kole so I decided, ‘Okay, let’s try it.’ I liked it so I stuck with it.” S. Butler said.

S. Butler has come to his success in hurdling from working on components of technique, and from learning from the seasoned hurdlers on the team.

“Technique. It’s all about technique,” S. Butler said. “I watched Kole a lot too, and all of the upperclassmen and just copied them, basically on how they went over the hurdles. I’m not that fast, so it’s about how quickly I can get my foot down after the hurdles.”

S. Butler has learned from K. Butler in terms of hurdling, although, this is not to say that K. Butler has found success only in the shuttle hurdle. At the Forwald/Coleman relays, K. Butler also won the 400 hurdles with a time of 55.92, and the 110 hurdles in 14.71. At Drake, his 4×100 meter relay team had the best time in the state, a finish  K. Butler had hoped to replicate at State. The team finished fourth at State with a time of 42.52.

S. Butler has set himself up to challenge K. Butler’s times and achievements. K. Butler was an alternate for the shuttle at State and Drake in his sophomore year, and S. Butler has run at Drake and is currently a consideration for State. Currently, S. Butler’s personal record for his shuttle hurdle split is 14.66, while K. Butler’s is currently 13.6, but was 14.5 when he was a sophomore, taking into consideration his absence from track freshman year.

Despite this, S. Butler still noticed the gap in the past track season.

“There’s no rivalry between us because he’s two years older and better at everything,” S. Butler said.

Despite the lack of competition between the brothers, they both enjoy and admire parts of track that separate it from other sports.

“I like track because it’s easier to see how you’re progressing, versus other sports where you can’t really tell,” K. Butler said.

S. Butler enjoys track because he sees all that one can accomplish in the sport as an individual and as a team.

“I like that you compete against yourself. It doesn’t matter if you got sixth in a race, if you got a personal record, you know that you did what you aimed to do,” S. Butler said.

Competing in track together has had a personal effect on the Butler brothers.

“It’s actually really fun to compete with Kole,” Sy said. “I like being able to hang out with him because we don’t really get to do that a lot.”

During their seasons competing on the City High track team, the brothers have found ways to handle the stress of high performance.

“Even at meets, Kole jokes around,” S. Butler said. “He takes it seriously, and you know that he does, but it’s not all business; it’s also fun.”


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