Feb. 9, 2013
GENEVA, Ohio - A pair of school records came crashing down on Saturday at the SPIRE Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Invite. Dan Porter set the program record in the mile while Vanessa McLeod now owns the school standard in the 800m run.
“We had a good performance today,” head coach Lonnie Greene said. “Anytime two school records fall, you know you are moving in the right direction. I knew Vanessa had it in her. Anytime a freshman can say she is a school record holder, the future is bright. Dan always had this in him as well. He is running more confident this year and he proved it today. I don’t want to leave anyone out because we had several outstanding individual performances. The kids competed exceedingly well again this weekend.”
In the mile, Porter shattered his personal-best time and tore down the school record in the process. The junior, in his first year competing in the indoor mile, had a career-best time of 4:10.73 which he ran a week ago at the Meyo Invite. This week, Porter posted a 4:05.91 to finish fifth in the event. His time, though, broke Tim Smith’s 35-year old school record of 4:06.27 which he set back in 1978.
McLeod also shattered her personal best on Saturday with hers coming in the 800m run. McLeod finished in 2:07.70, nearly four seconds better than her previous best. The time also took down Brooke Woodruff’s school-record time of 2:07.90 which she set on March 5, 2006. McLeod finished 12th in a very fast race. Her time is the 29th-fastest in the country this season.
“Dan has been chomping at the bit for a while,” said Greene. “It all came together for him this weekend. He helped the DMR run the 18th-fast time in the country yesterday and then turns around today and breaks the school record in the mile. Can he go four (minutes) flat? That is to be seen. He dropped five seconds from his previous best. That’s a lot. He is going to keep working towards Big Tens and he could do something pretty special there.
“I thought Vanessa would break the record earlier in the season at Indiana,” Greene added. “She got tripped up at the end of the race which cost her. It’s not a surprise that she ran a 2:07. I think she has 2:05 or 2:06 in her this season.”
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi had a huge day in the weight throw as well. The freshman, who has been dominant all season, had his first real look at the Big Ten and nation’s best. Four other Big Ten throwers threw top 16 distances in the country. Enekwechi was not intimated by that as he threw a personal best of 21.02m (68-11.75) to finish second. Jon Lehman of Minnesota won the event with a toss of 21.46m (70-05.00). Enekwechi’s mark is fifth in the nation, fifth in school history, and third in the Big Ten.
Katie Hoevet had a huge personal best in the women’s mile. Hoevet broke her previous best by more than eight and a half seconds with her time of 4:48.93. Her time is also 12.94 seconds better than her time a week ago in the same event. Hoevet’s time is the fastest on the team this season and is faster than any Purdue time from the past two years. She finished 11th in the event.
Kelly McCurdy ran her fastest 3,000-meter race of the season. She finished in 9:36.67 which was good for 14th place. The women’s 4x400m relay team ran a season best as well. The team finished in 3:45.56 which was good for 10th place, though the individuals’ names were not available.
Dani Bunch won a pair of events in the throws. The junior took the top spot in the shot put with a throw of 16.60m (54-05.50). That mark is farther than any other thrower in Purdue history, though her personal best, the school record, is 16.70m (54-09.00). Her winning throw in the meet would rank 14th in the nation this season. In the weight throw, Bunch set the facility record with a winning throw of 20.85m (68-05.00). Her distance would be 10th in the nation, though she currently holds the eighth-best mark from earlier this season.
Brandon Winters continued his solid season in the 60m hurdles. Winters finished third in the event with a finals time of 7.92 seconds. He made it to the finals after running a time of 7.99 seconds in the prelims. Eric Harris finished fifth in the 60m dash. Harris ran a time of 6.91 seconds in finals after finishing in 6.93 seconds in the prelims. Harris also finished third in the 200m dash with a time of 21.52 seconds.
Matthew McClintock and Caleb Kerr ran personal bests in the 3,000-meter run. McClintock ran the nation’s 55th-fastest time after cross the line in 8:10.58. Kerr finished in 8:13.83. The pair finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the race.
The men’s 4x400m relay team ran another season best on Saturday. The team of Mario Cosey, Nicholas Parks, Andre’ Peart, and Andrew Kendrick finished fifth with a time of 3:11.76. Byron Ferrell had a personal best and the nation’s 36th-best mark in the pole vault for the season. Ferrell finished third in the event after clearing 5.20m (17-00.75).
“We are running better and competing better across the board,” Greene said. “All we can do is work as hard as we can, get back to the basics, and we will be the best we can be at the Big Tens in two weeks. We had solid performances from everybody again this weekend and even more importantly, we came away completely healthy. It’s a big deal that we had a chance to compete in the same facility that we will be competing for a Big Ten Championship in two weeks. It will be a very interesting and exciting championships. We just have to keep doing what we are doing.”
The Boilermakers will be back inside Lambert Fieldhouse next weekend for the Fred Wilt Boilermaker Invitational. The meet will be on Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.