Feb. 21, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's and women's track and field teams closed out the 2009 home indoor schedule in grand fashion on Saturday, notching several personal records and climbing the Big Ten ranking charts at the Boilermaker Invitational. Senior Ben Harpenau paced the Purdue men with his career-best in the men's weight throw, while sophomore Emily Breslin led the Boilermaker women with her first-place showing in the high jump.
Harpenau made a huge move up the conference and national leaderboards in the men's weight throw with his first-place mark of 20.32 meters (66-08.00), climbing to second best this season in the Big Ten and 14th in NCAA Division I. Sophomore Bill Hardcastle backed up his senior teammate in the throws, notching the Boilermakers' 10th NCAA provisional mark of the season with his career-best throw of 17.85 meters (58-06.75). He moves to seventh in the conference standings in the event and 27th in NCAA Division I.
Senior Stephen Bach was just shy of his career-best in the men's 600-meter run, crossing the line in 1:19.24 and taking over the No. 3 spot in the conference standings after the time conversion in the race (-0.50 seconds because of the 200-meter track). Fellow senior Ben Pax and junior Eric Sparks both matched their season-best in the men's pole vault, clearing the NCAA provisional standard of 5.20 meters (17-00.75). Both had a shot to move into the NCAA Division I top-10 in the event, but fell just shy of 5.35 meters (17-06.50). Junior Chris Kirkwood cleared his season-best in the men's high jump, marking 2.06 meters (6-09.00) to move into a tie for ninth place in the Big Ten standings. Sophomore Jacob Palmer had a solid showing in the men's 800-meter run, winning the race with a time of 1:53.95.
Junior Lance Moe
also had a solid final preparation for the men's heptathlon at next weekend's Big Ten Championships, scoring personal records in the 60-meter dash, pole vault and shot put. He posted a time of 7.53 in the dash, cleared 4.30 meters (14-01.25) in the pole vault and hurled the shot put 12.31 meters (40-04.75).
The Purdue men also saw the Lambert Fieldhouse record fall in the shot put as former University of Idaho standout Russ Winger marked 20.17 meters (66-02.25) to top the field. The throw breaks the previous record of 19.94 meters (65-05.00) held by three-time All-American Nedzad Mulabegovic.
Breslin scored a solid performance in the women's high jump, edging out her season-best with a clearance of 1.74 meters (5-08.50) to win the event and improve to a tie for fourth in the conference. Classmate Tara Turnbull cleared a season-best 3.87 meters (12-08.25) to win the women's pole vault, moving herself to fifth in the Big Ten in the event and falling one height shy of NCAA provisional qualification. Junior Nkeiru Ugwoaba topped the women's triple jump with a career-best leap of 12.55 meters (41-02.25), increasing her third-best mark in the Big Ten this season and inching closer to the NCAA provisional standard. Fellow junior Ashlee Lengacher improved her second-best time in the conference in the women's 600-meter run, clocking a 1:31.51, which also improves her third-fastest mark in Purdue history in the event.
Purdue senior captain Lauren Scott posted a stellar time of 56.59 in the women's 400-meter dash, winning the event and nabbing a career-best on a 200-meter track. Freshman Elise Glass notched her top time of the season in the women's 60-meter dash, crossing the line in 7.88 seconds, good for 0.01 off the team best of the season. Glass also won the women's 200-meter dash, clocking a time of 25.43.
The Boilermaker squads split up next weekend as the men head to State College, Pa., for the indoor conference championships at Penn State, while the women travel south to Bloomington, Ind., for their Big Ten Championships at Indiana University.