Feb. 25, 2012
LINCOLN, Neb. - The first day of the Big Ten Indoor Championships wrapped up and one Boilermaker was crowned a Big Ten champion while another earned a runner-up finish. The Boilermakers scored in five events on the day.
The Purdue women currently sit in a tie for sixth place with 21 points. Leah Eber had a championship day as the senior repeated her Big Ten Title in the long jump. Eber led for most of the afternoon and had the competition all wrapped up heading into the final jump. With that jump though, she improved her mark and finished with the second best mark of her career, a 6.42m (21-00.75) effort.
Dani Bunch finished runner-up in the shot put with a personal best on the day. Bunch was in second place heading into the final behind Wisconsin's Kelsey Card. Bunch had a chance for a huge distance in her third overall attempt, but she was unable to hold her finish which resulted in a foul. In the final, Monique Riddick of Indiana came up with a throw of 16.46m (54-00.00) to put her in the lead and bump Bunch into third. Bunch was able to save her best throw for last, though, as she recorded a distance of 16.34m (53-07.50) to earn a second place finish and eight points for the Purdue women.
Terri Anderson also had a huge day in the shot put. The senior watched four of her six throws soar over 15 meters (49-02.50). Anderson finished in sixth place with a distance of 15.57m (51-01.00), the same mark as the fifth place finisher, but finished behind her due to the tiebreaker. Anderson earned three points for the women.
The McCurdy sisters had a great afternoon on the track as well. Kayla McCurdy ran a personal best by nearly 10 seconds in the women's unseeded 3000m run. McCurdy ran a time of 10:07.87. Kelly McCurdy ran in the women's seeded 3000m run with a best time of 9:38.24 heading into the race. McCurdy ended up finishing with the fifth fastest time in school history with a time of 9:33.37 which put her one spot and less than a second out of the points.
Autumn Beachy also had a PR in the 3k. Beachy's time was almost 10 seconds better than her previous best as she ran a 10:21.41. Amanda Downey tied her person best in the pole vault. Downey cleared a height of 3.58m (11-09.00) on her first attempt. Morgan Monroe had a personal best in the women's 400m dash. She finished with a time of 57.12 seconds. Taylor Morrison also ran in the event and was just four spots and 0.33 seconds away from advancing to the finals. Morrison ran a 55.96.
Ciana Tabb had a nice day in the women's 60m hurdles. Tabb ran a personal best time of 8.59 seconds. That mark was good enough for 10th overall, just two spots and 0.06 seconds short of qualifying for the finals.
On the men's side, the Boilermakers currently sit in 10th place with a total of four points. Mitch Erickson picked up three of those points with a sixth place finish in the pole vault. Erickson cleared 5.12m (16-09.50). Zack Saunders finished the event in 11th place after clearing 4.87m (15-11.75).
Brandon Winters had a terrific race in the 60m high hurdles. Winters ran a career best time of 7.93 seconds. That time was fast enough to win his heat which automatically qualified him for the finals on Saturday. That would not have mattered, though, because his time was also the third fastest for all of the prelims. Raheem Mostert qualified for the finals in the 60m dash. The freshman finished with the seventh fastest time with a mark of 6.80 seconds.
The men's distance medley relay team picked up a point for the Boilermakers. Dan Porter, Rob McNair, Mitch Keyser, and Simon Rogers finished eighth overall. Simon Rogers did a nice job as the teams anchor as he ran a nice race beating Michigan's Brendon Blacklaws to earn the point.
Seven other men also had personal records for Purdue. Mike Willey ran a time of 8.19 seconds in the 60m high hurdles. His previous best was 8.25 seconds. McNair had a 48.91 second time in the 400m dash. That time was almost 0.7 seconds better than his previous best as he finished 19th overall. Gabe Pirtle ran a 1:20.15 in the 600m run. His previous best heading into the race was 1:21.35. In that same race, Chris Arvia had a career best time. Arvia ran a 1:20.69 beating his previous best of 1:21.20.
Tyler Wynn ran his fastest time in the 800m run. Wynn posted a 1:53.72 which was 0.39 seconds better than his previous best. Brett Klosterhoff had his best effort in the men's 3k. He finished in 8:31.18 which was more than a second better than his best time heading into the championships. Ishmael Aristide broke seven seconds in the 60m dash for the first time in his career. The two sport athlete ran a time of 6.95 seconds.
On Saturday, a number of other Boilermakers will compete for their chance at a Big Ten Championship. Beatrice Turpin and Emily Becker will compete in the women's high jump while Geoff Davis and Derrick Spight will jump for the men. Normondo Harris is scheduled to compete in the men's triple jump while Eber and Kendria Kelly-Taylor will vie for the women's title. Bunch, Breann Fife, and Emily Leckenby will all compete in the women's weight throw. Bunch won the event as a freshman a year ago. In the men's weight throw, Connor McCulley is the lone Boilermaker scheduled to compete.
Live scoring for the final day of the Big Ten Championships can be found at PurdueSports.com. Also follow the Purdue Track and Field page on Facebook and Twitter (@PurdueTrackXC) for the most up-to-date results. A full recap of Saturday's action will be posted on PurdueSports.com following the completion of the final event.