March 9, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships wrapped up on Saturday and the Purdue men recorded the third-highest finish in program history. The Boilermaker men finished tied for 18th in the country with 11 total points.
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi and Geoff Davis competed for the Boilermakers on Saturday, a day after Jakob Engel took eight place in the shot put and earned the team’s first point. Enekwechi was first to compete on the final day of the competition and was in the weight throw. The freshman was outstanding throughout the competition. Three of his six throws went over 69 feet. Enekwechi went into finals in third place with a best mark of 21.52m (70-07.25). There, he had three good throws, but none farther than his second overall throw. Enekwechi finished in third place and earned the bronze medal and six points for the Boilermakers.
Davis was also outstanding on Saturday. The senior entered the high jump finals with the sixth-best mark in the country. In the finals, Davis cleared his first two heights on his first attempt, 2.10m (6-10.75) and 2.15m (7-00.75). The senior needed two tries at the next bar, 2.20m (7-02.50), but was again able to clear. At 2.23m (7-03.75), Davis cleared on his first attempt which put him in second place for the competition for the time being. The next height was 2.26m (7-05) and equaled his best and the school record. Davis cleared on his second attempt and was one of just seven to clear the height. From there, the senior was unable to clear another bar, but ended up claiming fifth place overall and four more points for the Purdue men.
“It was a really good day,” head coach Lonnie Green said. “To come in and finish in the top 20 in the country is outstanding. Jakob got it started for us and set the tone yesterday. He scored in his first championship and gave us confidence. Then to have Chuk come in and compete that well and finish third in the weight and then to cap it with Geoff jumping as well as he did, it bodes well for the future. I am excited for what the future holds and I am very thankful. We realize that we can actually compete at this level. It just takes some kids to believe and I believe that we have that.”
The Boilermakers tied for 18th
with Georgia and Florida State. They also were fifth among Big Ten teams.
“To finish on the same level with teams like Florida State and Georgia, that is huge,” said Greene. “Those are established programs. So many coaches told me how incredible a job our guys did this year. I am very thankful and now it’s time to go to work. This really speaks to coach (Keith) McBride’s work and coach (Berry) Shumpert’s work. Keith did a superb job all year. His young men and women bought in and believed and as a result he has three All-Americans and two scorers to show for it. Coach Shumpert did a yeoman’s job. Geoff believed in what Coach Shumpert taught him and as a result was in second in the finals.
“The staff did an outstanding job this season. Coaches McBride, Shumpert, Althea Thomas, Norbert Elliott, Dave Hartman, all the coaches have been outstanding. We received many compliments on our athletes and coaches this weekend and it wouldn’t be possible without our staff and the kids believing in our system.”
The women had two competitors at the NCAA Championships with Dani Bunch and Vanessa McLeod. Both competed on Friday and finished top 15 in the country, though neither scored.
The Boilermakers wrapped up the indoor season with the event. The teams will now get ready for the outdoor season and begin competition next weekend.