BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Junior Sarah Loesch put the Boilermakers on the board on the first day of the Big Ten Championships hosted by Indiana University. Purdue also qualified six sprinters to Sunday finals. After one day of action, the 11th-ranked women are tied for eighth with four points, while the No. 30 men are tied for 10th.
Loesch was in eighth place after two throws and needed a big toss on her third attempt just to make finals in the first event of the championships. The junior delivered with a mark of 60.26 meters (197-8), which moved her into fourth and secured a spot in the finals. She had two more throws over 194 feet in finals, but none better than her third which held on for a fifth-place finish. Loesch earned four points for the women’s team in the event.
The women’s 200-meter group had a perfect day Friday, advancing all four individuals to finals. Senior Savannah Roberson had the second-fastest time through all four heats, crossing the line in 23.28 seconds. That time is just 0.02 of a second off her wind-legal personal record. Senior Brionna Thomas won her heat with the third-fastest time of the trials. She finished with a time of 23.42 seconds into a headwind of 1.7 meters per second. That time is a wind-legal person record and ranks third in school history. Sophomore Chloe Abbott was in the same heat as Thomas and earned a spot in the final after finishing with a time of 23.58 seconds. That time is her wind-legal personal record and ranks fourth in school history. Senior Devynne Charlton advanced with the seventh-fastest time overall. She finished with a time of 23.61 seconds, which is a wind-legal personal record and is tied for the fifth-fastest race in school history.
Sophomore Waseem Williams advanced to the men’s 200-meter dash finals after winning his heat Friday. He crossed the line in 21.27 seconds, which was the fifth-fastest overall.
Senior Symone Black ran the fastest time in the conference this year to advance in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. The two-time event champion crossed the line in 56.54 seconds, which won her heat by 2.18 seconds. Her time was the fastest through all four heats by 1.24 seconds.
Freshman Tessa Sheets had a career day in the women’s pole vault. First, she cleared 3.92 meters (12-10.25) on her second attempt, her best as a Boilermaker. The bar then moved to 4.02 meters (13-2.75). Sheets needed three attempts, but she cleared the bar. That is tied for the sixth-best clearance in school history. Sheets had a good attempt at 4.07 meters (13-4.25), but nicked the bar on the way down. She finished ninth at her first Big Ten Outdoor Championships and is now tied for 35th in the NCAA East Region.
Senior Micaela Hazlewood made finals in the hammer throw. She earned three more throws after hitting 58.24 meters (191-1) on her third attempt. That would be her best mark of the competition and she finished ninth.
Freshman Kyle Griffith finished 14th in the men’s 1,500-meter run. He finished 14th overall with a time of 3:50.26. His time was faster than the three automatic qualifiers from the second heat. Senior Cole Hester was in the second heat and finished fourth in the heat and 20th overall with a time of 3:52.50.
The Boilermakers resume action at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. with Kyara Muhammad in the heptathlon.