Jan. 7, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's and women's track and field teams opened their season on Saturday with the Purdue Invitational at Lambert Fieldhouse. Purdue was joined by St. Ambrose, Cornerstone, and Huntington at the meet.
The Boilermakers won a total of 25 events on Saturday including a pair from sophomore sensation Dani Bunch. Last year's Big Ten Champion in the weight throw turned in a distance of 19.06m (62-06.50) in the weight throw and a distance of 15.79m (51-09.75) in the shot put. Her distance in the weight is the seventh longest of her career and the shot put mark was her fourth best.
"I thought we had a lot better intensity this year than we did a year ago in our opening meet," head coach Jack Warner said. "I thought some of our young kids and some of our veterans did a nice job of stepping up and it's good to see that. We had quite a few (personal records) for the young kids, but what I liked was that some of the older kids who competed came close to their PRs."
Several Boilermakers set personal records at the Invitational Saturday afternoon. Ciana Tabb beat her previous best in the 60-meter dash .05 seconds as she posted a time of 7.83 seconds. Bre'Anna Smith, Alice Feslier Holmes and Alexandra Parks set PRs in the 600-meter run. Smith posted a 1:37.47, Feslier Holmes a 1:37.97, and Parks a 1:38.43 in her inaugural season. Breann Fife and Emily Leckenby had personal bests in the women's weight throw. Fife threw a distance of 16.46m (54-00.00) and Leckenby tossed it 17.06m (55-11.75). Fife's previous best was 15.85m while Leckenby's was 16.81m.
Mitch Erickson set an indoor PR in the men's pole vault after clearing a height of 5.15m (16-10.75). Andy Mack, who ran unattached, had a PR in his inaugural season in the men's mile as he cross the finish line with a time of 4:24.09. Five other Boilermakers set their career bests in the 3,000-meter run as Maria Paolillo, Kayla McCurdy, Autumn Beachy, Dani Sullivan, and Blake Mills all improved their fastest times.
Freshman Chukwuebuka Enekwechi had an impressive rookie debut, though he threw unattached. The Laurelton, N.Y., native through personal bests in the weight throw and shot put with distances of 17.13m (56-02.50) and 16.29m (53-05.50), respectively. Senior Terri Anderson threw a distance of 15.45m (50-08.25) in the shot put. That mark bested all of her performances from a season ago and just missed her career best of 15.52m. Kendria Kelly-Taylor also had a personal best as she leapt a distance of 10.44m (34-03.00) in the triple jump.
"I noticed today that in a lot of the events and a lot of the races that at the end of the race or if they needed to crunch down a little bit in their individual event that they tried to muster up a little extra effort and that's the kind of stuff that I want to see," Warner said.
For Coach Warner's full interview, click here.
The Boilermakers will be back in action next Saturday at the Indiana/Purdue Dual in Bloomington, Ind. Several Boilermakers will make their season debut including standouts Geoff D avis and Leah Eber. Saturday's meet is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET.