March 25, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Purdue University men's and women's track and field teams had an incredible opening to their outdoor season this weekend, notching a school record and 14 NCAA Regional qualifying marks at the Arizona State Invitational. Junior Sheena James highlighted the day with her first-place finish and new school record in the women's shot put.
James locked up all of Purdue's women's shot put records, posting a throw of 16.16 meters (53-00.25) to surpass the former school mark set by Tiffany Britten in 2004, and nab NCAA Regional qualification. Joining her in regional qualification on the women's team were seniors Laura Farley, Corrie Whisner and Lindsey Blaine, juniors Leah Kincaid and Astin Steward and sophomore Mallory Peck.
Farley placed third and notched the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 1,500-meter run with a collegiate best time of 4:24.27, while Whisner set a new personal record and finished sixth overall with a time of 4:26.28. Blaine hurled the javelin 48.94 meters (160-07) to place third, and Kincaid moved closer to her second straight trip to the NCAA Championships, qualifying for the regionals in the 100-meter hurdles with a fifth-place showing and time of 13.92. Steward secured her second regional qualifier in as many days, tossing the discus 48.62 meters (159-06) to place sixth, and Peck claimed fifth in the pole vault with her jump of 3.80 meters (12-05.50).
Kincaid also grabbed a fifth-place finish in the long jump, marking 5.79 meters (19-00.00). Freshman Christina Madison followed closely in the pit, jumping a career-best 5.71 meters (18-09.00) to place sixth.
On the men's side, senior Rickey Pinkney, juniors Keith Hopkins and Tyler Miller and sophomore Ben Harpenau all qualified individually, while the men's 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay squads earned qualifying marks as well. Hopkins placed second in the 110-meter hurdles in 13.91 seconds, followed closely by Pinkney in fourth in 13.92. Miller placed seventh in the shot put with a qualifying mark of 16.80 meters (55-01.50), while Harpenau punched his regional ticket on Friday with a throw of 56.44 meters (185-02). Pinkney teamed with junior Jh'Rome Tuggle, sophomore Zach Logan and freshman Robert Jenkins to post a second-place finish and time of 40.52 in the 4x100, while Hopkins joined Tuggle, Logan and senior Terrell Thompson to notch a third-place showing and time of 3:09.86 in the 4x400.
Other top finishes from the Boilermakers came from Logan, Jenkins, Thompson, senior John Porter, junior Brian Kaluf, sophomore Andrew Smith and freshman Jonathan Pullum. Logan, Jenkins, Thompson and Smith placed fourth, sixth, 10th and 12th in the 400-meter dash, all setting personal records, while Kaluf barely missed NCAA Regional qualification in the 110-meter hurdles, posting a personal best of 14.32. Pullum took home sixth in the discus in his first collegiate outdoor meet, hurling it 49.42 meters (162-02).
Purdue continues its outdoor season next Saturday, March 31, as the Boilers host the Mike Poehlein Invitational.