LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore Sarah Loesch threw the nation's No. 8 mark in the weight throw to highlight several strong performances for the Boilermakers at the Rod McCravy Invitational on Saturday. The Boilermakers also added victories in the men's and women's 3,000-meter runs and the women's 4x400-meter relay at the meet hosted by the University of Kentucky.
Loesch threw a winning mark of 21.37 meters (70-1.50), which is eighth in the country, fourth in the Big Ten and third in school history. She passed Toyinda Smith who was previously third and had a career-best throw of 20.95m (68-8.00). Loesch won Saturday's event by 11 feet, 1.25 inches.
Senior Cole Hester took the men's 3k and added his name to the program's top-10 list. He finished with a time of 8:13.75 to win the race by 4.5 seconds with the 10th fastest time ever run by a Boilermaker. His time edges Robin Liddell's time of 8:15.13, which was run Feb. 26, 1977, and is a 19-second personal record. Junior Mary Abramson then won the women's 3k and was within as second of her personal record. She crossed the finish line with a time of 9:49.22 to win by half a second.
The women's 4x400-meter relay team was impressive to cap the day. The team of Jahneya Mitchell, Chloe Abbott, Carmiesha Cox and Brionna Thomas ran away from the field from the first leg and finished with a time of 3:33.61. It was the first time that group has ever run together and they beat the next team by nearly 4.5 seconds. The Purdue's team's time ranks fourth in school history and seventh in the nation. It is 0.23 of a second and one spot behind Purdue's team of Symone Black, Cox, Abbott and Thomas on the national list for their performance at Clemson two weeks ago. The Purdue women are the only program in the country with two relay teams in the top 10, three in the top 30 and four in the 35.
Cox was solid in individual events as well. After finishing fourth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.47 seconds, she came back in the 200-meter dash and finished third with a personal-record time of 23.56 seconds. That time ranks third in school history, third in the Big Ten and 30th in the country. Junior Yakira Love also made finals in both events. She finished seventh in the 60-meter dash with a finals time of 7.59 seconds, after running 7.54 in prelims. In the 200-meter dash, she ran her best time as a Boilermaker, crossing the line in 24.20 seconds to take seventh. That time ranks seventh in school history.
Thomas and Abbott finished 2-3 in the women's 400-meter dash. Thomas ran a time of 53.13 seconds, a season best and No. 7 in the country this year, to finish second. Abbott tied her indoor personal record with a time of 53.50 seconds, which ranks 15th in the country. Their times rank second and fifth, respectively, in the Big Ten this year.
Mitchell and freshman Samara Miller also had career days in the 400-metre dash. Mitchell ran a PR time of 54.17 seconds to take seventh, while Miller's time was 54.51 seconds to finish eighth. Mitchell's time moves her into fourth place in school history and 37th in the country. Miller's time is sixth in the school history and 48th nationally.
Senior Justin Veteto was fourth in the 60-meter hurdles. After qualifying through prelims, he ran a time of 7.94 seconds in the finals. That was his fastest race this season and ranks 38th in the country.
Senior Micaela Hazlewood and freshman Molly Leppelmeier were just off their personal records in the shot put. Hazlewood finished runner-up with a best mark of 15.73m (51-7.25), while Leppelmeier was third with a throw of 15.27m (50-1.25).
The Boilermakers are back in action next weekend as the squad will split meets for the first time. The distance group will head to Iowa State, while others will head to Arkansas for the Tyson Invitational.