Jan. 31, 2014
FINDLAY, Ohio - The Purdue throwers competed in one of the top indoor throwing events in the country on Friday night. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi and Dani Bunch each set a school record on the evening and combined to win three events.
Bunch opened the afternoon with the shot put and set the tone with her very first throw. The senior recorded a mark of 17.19m (56-04.75), which is a new Purdue record and moves her within one foot, three quarters of an inch of the nation's leader. Bunch sits in second among division I throwers. On her second attempt, Bunch slipped and tweaked her ankle. She gave it a shot with her third attempt, but didn't feel right and decided to pass on her final three attempts. Her first throw held up as the winner, though, and she rested for the weight throw.
In the weight throw, Bunch, with a taped ankle, opened a toss of 20.30m (66-07.25). After fouling her next two attempts, the Mahomet, Ill., native entered finals in third place. On her fourth attempt, she started to get comfortable and recorded a distance of 20.92m (68-07.50) to take the lead. Bunch distanced herself from the field on her fifth attempt, as she launched the weight 21.98m (72-01.25). That mark would be her best and she went on to win with the distance that is the third-best of her career and farther than any other collegiate thrower this season. It is also a new fieldhouse record at the University of Findlay. Bunch has won every event she has competed in this season.
"Dani showed a lot of perseverance in coming back in the weight after hurting herself in the shot put," throws coach Keith McBride said. "It was just a minor, little tweak so she will be alright. She threw really, really well in the weight and it is all looking up for us."
On the men's side, the weight throw was the premier event. The field slated Enekwechi and Coy Blair against some of the world's best, including A.G. Kruger, a former D-II National Champion, seven-time US Weight Throw Champion and three-time Olympian. Enekwechi led the event from his opening throw and turned in the most impressive series of his career. The sophomore opened with a mark of 22.87m (75-00.50), the second-best of his career and a distance farther than anyone else in the country this year. Enekwechi's second throw was one that turned heads throughout the fieldhouse, as it travelled 23.62m (77-06.00), the best throw in the world this year. He finished with three more throws that travelled 22.64m or better, including his final attempt of 23.31m (76-05.75) which matched his previous best. Kruger challenged with his fifth attempt, a throw that went 23.43m (76-10.50), but could not catch the Purdue sophomore.
"Chuk's overall series shows what it takes to compete at the next level," said McBride. "He is starting to work like a professional and compete like a professional. The more times he throws over 23m, the easier it is going to get. What else can you say about Chuk? It's just fun to be around."
Blair turned in his best performance of the season in both events. The sophomore from Nelsonville, Ohio, finished tied for third in the shot put with a distance of 18.40m (60-04.50). That mark is a season-best by one centimeter and moves him up to a tie for 29th in the country this year. In the weight throw, Blair threw a 30-centimeter personal record, as he recorded a mark of 19.48m (63-11.00). That distance moves the sophomore into 35th in the country.
"Coy had a heck of a day too. He had a great series in the shot put and he threw PRs in the weight throw. So, overall, I can't be any happier with the guys how they competed here. It was a great day for us."
The Boilermaker throwers will be off next week, while the rest of the team heads up to Notre Dame for the two-day Meyo Invite.