Feb. 28, 2014
GENEVA, Ohio - One school record and one Big Ten Championships record were broken by Boilermakers on the opening day of the Big Ten Championships in Geneva, Ohio. The Purdue men are fifth with 17 points, though five scored events, and the women are eighth through five scored events with 16 points.
Matthew McClintock took down the men's 3,000-meter record with an eighth-place finish on Friday. The sophomore finished with a time of 8:03.70 to break Donnie Fellows 2002 record of 8:06.39. McClintock's finish earned the Boilermakers a point and marked the first time the Purdue men have scored in the 3,000-meter run since 2005 when Kyle Orender finished sixth with a time of 8:13.24.
The men's shot putters scored as many points as any team in the event. The Boilermaker throwers added 10 points to the team total, led by a bronze medal finish by Chukwuebuka Enekwechi. Enekwechi finished with a mark of 19.05m (62-6), which was just four inches shy of second place. The winning mark was 19.93m (65-4.75) by Antonio James of Michigan State. Coy Blair added the other four points to Purdue's shot put total with a fifth-place finish. Last year's bronze medalist in the event threw 18.40m (60-4.50).
The men picked up five points in the long jump with Tyler Askew's efforts. Askew's best mark was 7.28m (23-10.50) which missed the podium by 1.25 inches. Nebraska took the top two spots in the event, led by Patrick Raedler's gold medal mark of 7.68m (25-2.25).
Purdue's last point of the first day on the men's side came from the distance medley relay. It came down to the 1,600m and Dan Porter. The Purdue school record holder for the mile got as close as fourth in the final lap, but in the tightly knit group where at times had first and 10th just steps apart, Porter fell back to eighth where he would finish. The point marks the third-straight year the Purdue men have scored in the DMR.
On the women's side, the points came from the shot put, long jump and distance medley relay. Dani Bunch was the top performer as she took the silver medal for the third year in a row in the shot put. Bunch finished with a mark of 16.93m (55-6.50), a distance that would have been good enough a year ago, but Indiana's Kyla Buckley was just good enough for the second-straight year. Buckley won with a distance of 17.17m (56-4). Bunch's second place finish earned eight points for the Boilermakers and marks the eighth-straight year the women have scored in the event.
Nikki Nunn tied her personal record in the long jump, en route to a fourth place finish. Nunn finished with a distance of 6.13m (20-1.50), which ties her fourth-place mark in Purdue history. Without multiple better jumps, Nunn would not have been able to earn anything but a gold medal because first, second and third all finished with a mark of 6.20m (20-4.25). That meant the champion was crowned based on second-best jumps and the winner, Erin Busbee of Michigan, had a mark of 6.17m (20-3). All of the top three jumpers' second-best marks were slightly better than Nunn's mark.
The women's DMR team took fifth, partly because the Wisconsin team was disqualified after dropping the baton and leaving the track to retrieve it. The team of Hope Schmelzle, Megan Plenus, Taylor Morrison and Katie Hoevet finished with a time of 11:27.64. The Michigan team won the event for the 11th-straight year and for the 12th time in the last 13 years.
The Boilermakers also had several great performances on not only the Purdue level, but the Big Ten level. Raheem Mostert broke the Big Ten Championships record in the 200m dash prelims. He tied last year's Big Ten Champion Timothy Faust of Ohio State's prelim time on the day of 21.00 seconds. The previous record was 21.12 seconds by Faust last season. The junior two-sport athlete's time is the second-best in program history behind only the Big Ten all-time record holder Kenneth Baxter's 2004 time of 20.57 seconds. Mostert holds the top seed for Saturday's finals.
Mostert also had a big day in the 60m dash. He won his heat with a time of 6.73 seconds, which ties his personal best and the fourth-fastest time in program history. His time was the second fastest in the prelim behind only Faust, who ran a 6.72 seconds time. Tyler Askew also qualified for Saturday's finals in the 60m. He finished third in the third heat with a time of 6.83 seconds. His time was the sixth-best of the nine that qualified for the finals.
Brandon Winters had a huge day in the 60m hurdles. He ran a personal best and the school's fourth-fastest time with a mark of 7.78 seconds. Last year's bronze medalist finished second in his heat with the third fastest time of the prelims. He will compete at 2:50 p.m. ET on Saturday.
On the women's side, Devynne Charlton had a very impressive day, competing in three events for the Boilermakers. The freshman ran the school's fourth-fastest 60m dash time with a mark of 7.56 seconds, which finished fourth in her heat of the prelims. Her time was the eighth best in the prelims and she will run at 2 p.m. on Saturday for the finals. Charlton also made the finals in the 60m hurdles. She finished third in her heat with a time of 8.39 seconds, which was the sixth-fastest in the prelims. She will compete in the hurdles finals at 2:40 p.m. Charlton missed the finals in the 200m, but ran the second-fastest time of her career. She finished with a mark of 24.53 seconds.
Kari Shoolbraid was just as good. The senior qualified for the finals in the 600m and the 800m, a tough double. Shoolbraid won the first heat of the 800m, as she cruised in with a time of 2:07.70. That time ended up being the second fastest of the prelim. Just over an hour later, she came back and won her heat of the 600m by nearly a second. Shoolbraid posted a time of 1:30.77, which is just 0.37 of a second off her PR. BreAnna Smith also qualified for the finals in the 600m. She ran a personal best time of 1:30.44, which was third in her heat and the fifth fastest overall. Her time is the third-fastest in program history. The women will compete in the 600m finals at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Katie Hoevet ran the fastest mile time at Purdue since 1988. The sophomore ran a time of 4:44.02 to finish third in her heat and seventh overall. She will compete in the finals at 1:20 p.m. on Saturday.
Another Boilermaker that made the finals through Friday's prelims was Ciana Tabb. Despite not having her best day, she posted a time of 8.47 seconds to grab the ninth qualifying spot in the hurdles finals. Tabb made the finals last year, but tripped over one of the first hurdles and did not finish the race. She will try to avenge that finish at 2:40 p.m.
Saturday's action will also be highlighted by the weight throws. Bunch leads the Big Ten in the women's event and looks for her fourth medal and third gold medal in the event. She is scheduled to compete at 11:10 a.m. Enekwechi, Blair and Caleb Fricke will vie for spots on the podium in the men's event 1:45 p.m. Enekwechi has the second-best weight throw mark in the conference, the school record and was last year's bronze medalist as a freshman.
Cierra Brown will also compete in her top event, the triple jump. Brown is the Purdue school record holder in the event and has the second overall distance in the Big Ten this year. She is scheduled to compete against the conference's leading jumper Tori Franklin from Michigan State at 2 p.m.
The Boilermakers are ahead of their results after the first day from last season. The women had 10 points after the opening day in 2013, while the men had 12.833.
Live results will be available for Saturday's action on PurdueSports.com, Purdue's Twitter handle @PurdueTrackXC and the Big Ten Championships Twitter handle @BigTenChamps. A live blog for questions, conversation, videos and more will be available on the Game Day Central page on PurdueSports.com. A full recap and results will be posted following completion of the meet.