April 6, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Three more Boilermakers moved into the top five in program history in their respective events on Saturday at the Tiger Track Classic. Purdue won a total of seven events on the day as well.
"Anytime you have lifetime PRs and kids posting top five marks in school history, you're doing it the right way," head coach Lonnie Greene said. "We had kids competing with the best in the nation and putting themselves in position to qualify for the first round of the NCAA Championships. That shows that we are making the right strides and doing the things we need to do to get to the top. We are more than closing the gap, but we need to pick it up, keep moving, and keep getting quicker. At the end of the day, it was a great trip and I'm glad we added it to the schedule."
Geoff Davis was one of the top performers for the Boilermakers on Saturday. The senior tied his outdoor PR by clearing 2.22m (7-03.25). That clearance was good enough to win the event by 2.75 inches. Davis' height ties the second-best mark in program history. The mark is also the seventh-best in the nation this season.
Another Boilermaker climbed into the top five on the all-time program list in the 1,500-meter run. Tyler Wynn ran a 3:47.79 which ties the fifth-best mark in program history with Brad Jones from 1981. Wynn finished seventh in the race and his time sits 36th in the country. Teammate Dan Porter was not far behind as he finished eighth in the race. Porter posted a time of 3:48.21.
The women also had an individual climb into the top five in program history on Saturday. Vanessa McLeod ran a 2:07.50 to win the 800m run. That time is fourth-best in Purdue lore and just .14 second behind the No. 2 time which is held by Christine McGee from 1989. McLeod's time is 28th in the nation after this weekend's events.
Blair Doney just missed the top five with her performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Doney ran a time of 10:40.58 to win the event by almost 30 seconds. Her mark ranks sixth in program historyand 50th in the nation this season.
Sharise Lund and Katie Hoevet picked up a pair of wins for the women. Lund won the 5k by more than 10 seconds as she posted a 17:20.36. Hoevet took the top spot in the 1,500-meter run after crossing the finish line in 4:25.10. That time was good enough to win by more than five seconds and is the 55th-fastest time in the country.
Ciana Tabb ran a PR in the 100m hurdles, though it does not officially count as such because it was wind aided. Tabb finished fifth with a time of 13.67 seconds. That time is .07 second faster than her previous best. She was the second finisher that competed collegiately as three of the top four runners were unattached.
Coy Blair and Jakob Engel had nearly identical days in the shot put. Both finished with identical marks of 18.20m (59-08.50). Blair won the event because his second-best throw was farther than Engel's, though Engel took second. That distance is top 20 in the country, though both have better marks on the season. Engel currently has the ninth-best distance while Blair's best is 16th.
Ivana Vukomanovic set a PR en route to winning the women's high jump on the final day of the Tiger Track Classic. Vukomanovic cleared 1.72m (5-07.75) which is a half inch higher than her all-time best and four inches better than her previous outdoor best.
"Things are coming along and we are moving the right direction," said Greene. "We made strides across the board. Just about every one of our athletes has put in the work and gotten better and it is showing up in the results. We are building the confidence that we need and that is a testament to our coaching staff. All of the coaches are doing a great job and the kids are receiving it well. I am very excited about that.
Our goal is to get 25-30 kids to the first round of the NCAA Championships. We are already more than half way there with the results we have put up this season. That is outstanding especially when you look at the progress that has been made over the season. We already have 16-18 kids that solidly qualify for the first round where as last year the program sent 12 to that stage. I am very excited about that because it shows where this program is going and the kind of work these kids are putting in. We have a lot of work to do still, but we are going to get back at it and keep getting better."
The Boilermakers are back in action next week with the three-day Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn. The meet begins on Thursday.