May 3, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Caleb Fricke extended Purdue's streak to three-consecutive meets with at least one new school record on Saturday. The sophomore used a 12 foot, two inch personal best to break the 29-year old record in the discus.
"I knew at the end of the year it had to come together for me," Fricke said after the meet. "I've been working on the technique all season. I knew at Drake that it was about to come for a big one, so I was really happy to break the record at home. I relaxed and the only thing I took into the ring was a couple cues I take in every week. This one was a little different. I focused on driving toward a certain direction and I guess it pulled me into a really good power position and I went from there. It was just awesome how it happened."
Fricke entered the meet with the No. 44 mark in the country and No. 7 mark in the Big Ten. Before the day would end, he would leave with the No. 17 mark in the country and No. 4 in the conference. The sophomore opened with mark of 55.49m (182-0), just six inches shy of his PR. From there, he would set a new PR on his fourth attempt after throwing 56.87m (186-7), a mark that would have jumped him into fourth place all-time at Purdue. On his next throw, though, he relaxed and let his technique kick in. Fricke launched the best throw all-time by a Boilermaker with a distance of 59.35m (194-8) to shatter the all-time Purdue mark by exactly three and a half feet. Fricke finished second in the event behind Michigan State's Antonio James.
"Throughout the competition, Fricke was getting stronger and more confident," throws coach Keith McBride said. "He opened up bigger than he has opened up all day just under his PR. He pressed a little bit the next couple rounds, but then connected in finals. He had a PR on his first throw and then the monster on the fifth throw. It was exciting to watch and exciting to see him get the confidence and know what he needs to do to make this work."
Fricke wasn't the only thrower to have a big day. Sophomore shot putter Coy Blair also launched a huge PR. Blair went back and forth with Michigan State's James all event long. Blair led after two throws, James after three. Blair retook the lead on his fifth throw by one centimeter, a quarter inch, before James came back to take a seven-inch lead. Blair then launched an all-time best throw of 19.32m (63-04.75) on his sixth attempt to take the lead. The mark is the second-best in Purdue history, t-15th in the country, and then-second best in the Big Ten. However, James came back on the final throw of the competition with a mark of 19.35m (63-06.00) to edge Blair in the contest and bump him to third in the Big Ten. Fortunately, the Blair and Fricke will have another shot at James in two weeks when Purdue hosts the Big Ten Championships.
"The throwers had a great day," McBride said. "They are PRing at the right time. A couple massive PRs by Coy Blair and Caleb Fricke. Fricke took down a school record that has been around for a long, long time. A big, big day for him and a big time to step up to the plate. Now, it's just time to get ready and go back to work a little bit to get ready for the Big Ten Championships. That's our next meet and that's been our focus all year."
Other strong performances from the throwers included Dani Bunch who won the women's shot put with a mark of 16.66m (54-08.00). She won the event by four and a half feet. Brad Hoselton had a PR in the men's javelin with a throw of 48.11m (157-10). He took second in the event. Caleb Reiff had a huge PR of his own in the discus. Reiff recorded a third-place mark of 54.72m (179-6) which came on his fifth attempt. That bettered his previous PR by seven feet, two inches. Langston Newton also PRed in the discus with a fifth-place mark of 50.10m (164-4), to better his previous PR by three feet, 11 inches.
"Our group is still hungry," added McBride. "Despite our big days, we only won one event today. We are still wanting more. Despite being top 15 in the country in a handful of events, some of the marks are fourth and fifth in the Big Ten. We laughed about it afterwards and know we have more work to do. Our group is hungry for bigger throws and we know that we have the capability to go even bigger."
Nikki Nunn had her best day of the outdoor season in the long jump. She won the event with a leap of 6.26m (20-06.50). That mark ranks second in the Big Ten, just a half inch behind the conference leader. Her mark is also 17th in the country. Cierra Brown had her best outdoor performance as a Boilermaker in the triple jump. The indoor school record holder took second place, behind the Indoor Big Ten Champion in the event, with a mark of 12.79m (41-11.50). Brown's distance was 5.25 inches shy of Michigan State's Tori Franklin's winning mark. Brown now ranks fourth in Purdue history, fourth in the Big Ten, and tied for 30th in the country.
Raheem Mostert went up against several of the best 200m runners in the Big Ten, including 2013 Big Ten Indoor Champion, 2013 Big Ten Outdoor runner-up and this indoor season's runner-up Timothy Faust from Ohio State. Mostert, the indoor Big Ten Champion, ran away with the title with a time of 20.96 seconds to beat Faust, who came in second, by 0.40 of a second. Mostert's time ranks fifth in the Big Ten, including behind teammate Eric Harris who ran a 20.95 seconds time at the Border Battle last month.
"I thought our sprinters and hurdles, including Raheem Mostert, did well today," said men's sprints coach Norbert Elliott. "We finally had a chance to get Raheem to move up his standing in the Big Ten in the 200m. He beat one of his rivals pretty handily and looked good doing it. Overall, I was quite pleased with the sprint core. I think we are in good shape, we just need to rest and fine tune and we will be ready to go."
Aarin Jones was also a winner on Saturday. The sophomore 400m runner posted a time of 54.40 seconds in her main event. Her time won by 0.74 of a second over Andrea Arnold of Western Michigan. BreAnna Smith also came away with a top finish. The senior 800m runner just missed her PR with a time of 2:07.24. Smith had to pace herself for most of the race as she won by 2.98 seconds. Brown had a strong day in the 100m hurdles as well as her performance in the triple jump. She won the prelims of the hurdles with a PR time of 13.82 seconds. She finished third in the finals with a time of 13.89 seconds, but her prelims time ranks 11th in the Big Ten this year.
"Today was a day of fine tuning," assistant coach Angela Goodman said. "I think we had some of our younger kids that needed a few more races to build their confidence get out there and run well. They managed the races well, especially with such a strong, challenging wind. We accomplished what we set out to do and did it against good competition with Michigan State and Ohio State. We are on the right track getting ready for Big Tens and I think we will have a really good product to show in a couple weeks."
Jessica Harter just missed her PR in the pole vault. She cleared 3.87m (12-08.25), before just missing 3.97m (13-00.25) a couple times on her next attempts. Harter took second in the event. Kevin Griffith had a nice day on the track with a PR in the 1,500m dash. He came from the middle of the pack to fly by the field on his last lap and take the win. Griffith fished with a PR time of 3:51.20 to hold of Michigan State's Caleb Rhynard by 0.42 of a second.
The Boilermakers have next weekend off as they rest for the Big Ten Championships. Purdue will host the three day conference meet at the Rankin Track and Field on May 16 through May 18. For more information about the meet, visit the Big Ten Championships link on the top of the Purdue Track and Field page on PurdueSports.com.