April 26, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Boilermakers broke three more school records on Saturday, bringing the three-day Drake Relay total to seven. Purdue has broken 18 different school-records since January.
“This weekend was what we expected out of our kids,” head coach Lonnie Greene said. “I thought we were ready to run coming into the meet and we ended up winning five relays. Anything can happen, but I knew we were ready to run well. Look at men’s 4x4 relay who set a school record, and a very old one at that. The women’s 4x4 also ran well and put up a fight against some great teams. The men’s 4x1 was great, too. It was a great meet and we are competing hard. The Boilermakers are competing hard and people have taken notice. At the end of the day, we did what I knew we were capable of, but I think we are capable of even more.”
The women’s 4x100m shuttle hurdle relay team got things going in the first event of the day by breaking the seven-year old school record of 56.50 seconds. The team of Devynne Charlton, Ciana Tabb, Cierra Brown and Shantyra Delaney won the prelim with a time of 55.37 seconds. In the finals, the hurdle team did even better. The Purdue women ran a first place time of 54.85 seconds to set the new school record. It was the fifth relay win for the Boilermakers on the weekend.
Blair Doney was next to break a school record as the senior took down the 3,000-meter steeplechase record. Doney finished second overall with a time of 10:08.23 to break Sarah Klaczynski’s 2010 mark of 10:11.17. The time was a PR by nearly 10 seconds for Doney, whose time currently ranks ninth in the country.
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi broke his own school record, and Nigerian national record, a week after taking down the Purdue mark for the first time. The sophomore finished second with a mark of 68.53m (224-10) to beat his previous best by five inches. He still ranks eighth in the country.
“Across the board what is beginning to happen is we are getting production from every group," said Greene. "That’s what makes a program move. We can’t just be good in one area, we have to be good across the board. That’s what we are doing and that’s the key to being successful. That’s the key to rising in the league and nationally. That is what’s beginning to happen. We are beginning to believe and compete with confidence which is what’s important.”
Several other Boilermakers had PRs on Saturday. Dani Bunch threw a career best in the hammer throw with a third-place mark of 58.36m (191-06). She was seven feet, one inch behind the winning mark. Bunch now ranks 44th in the country. Caleb Fricke had a PR in the men’s discus. He threw 55.64m (182-06) to take third overall. Fricke ranks 37th in the country.
Hope Schmelzle ran a PR in the steeplechase and one of the fastest times in school history. The freshman finished seventh with a time of 10:32.30, good for the sixth-fastest time in program history, including behind Doney. Kristin Fritts was just behind Schmelzle and finished ninth with a time of 10:32.93. Fritts’ PR is the seventh-fastest time in Purdue history.
The men’s sprint medley relay narrowly missed a school record Saturday. Obokhare Ikpefan, Mario Cosey, Kendal Frederick and Kevin Griffith ran a third-place time of 3:18.76, just 0.21 of a second off the 31-year old school record. Jake Waterman was just off his PR in the men’s steeplechase. He took second in the event with a time of 8:56.71. The time is just over five seconds off his PR, which is the third-best time in program history.
Andre Peart was also just off his PR and school record. He finished sixth with a time of 51.31 seconds. His PR is 50.54 seconds from last week. Kevin Griffith took second in the 800m with a time of 1:52.21. He ran the school’s fifth-best time in program history a week ago with a mark of 1:48.64. Brandon Winters competed in the 110m hurdles finals and took fourth overall. Winters ran a time of 13.92 seconds into a wind of 1.6 meters per second.
The men’s 4x100m relay team competed in the finals Saturday and ran a nearly-identical mark to its Friday qualifying time. The team of Tyler Askew, Raheem Mostert, Andrew Kendrick and Eric Harris II finished fifth with a time of 39.98 seconds, just 0.01 of a second off their time from Friday.
The women’s 4x400m relay team competed in the finals on Saturday. Taylor Morrison, Aarin Jones, Kari Shoolbraid and BreAnna Smith ran a time of 3:36.06 to take fifth overall. The time missed the school record by 0.71 of a second and ranks 26th in the country.
“I think we had an even better meet than we did a week ago," Greene added. "We came to compete in the relays and try to win those and even pulled out of the short sprints to do so, and we got it done. Programmatically, we were even better than last week. Every individual we put on the track produced and got it done.
“Kudos to my staff for all they are doing. They are doing everything necessary, every one of them across the board from Coach Hartman to McBride, to Huffins, Goodman, Elliott, all of them. We are firing on all cylinders because of them and we need to keep it going heading into Big Tens. Our staff has gotten us to do as well as we have. It’s night and day from even a year ago.”
The Boilermakers broke seven records this weekend and have broken 18 since January.
“I thought we could break this many records,” said Greene. “I believe and always did believe that we have the talent. I always tell people you have to correct what’s going on at home before you can correct what’s going on elsewhere. I wanted to see what the records here were to see what’s attainable and make the kids believe. We have far exceeded those marks. At the end of the day, I always knew our kids had it in them. The ones that are breaking the records are the ones that have been here. They are really running up to the potential they’ve always had and I truly believe all things are possible to those who believe.”
The Boilermakers compete again next weekend with their first home meet of the season. The Dave Rankin Invitational is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Rankin Track and Field.