May 14, 2004
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 2004 Big Ten Outdoor Championships started with a bang Friday, as home crowd favorite Keith McBride won his first conference hammer throw title.
Battling a driving rainstorm at Purdue's Rankin Track and Field, All-American McBride registered a top throw of 210 feet (64.01 meters), finishing far ahead of runner-up Brad Daufelt of Iowa (203-2; 61.92) and favorite Dan Taylor of Ohio State (202-0; 61.58).
"I'm very happy for him (Keith), because he's worked so hard and come so close to winning this title," said Purdue throws coach John Zera. "The fact that he is a senior, was able to accomplish this feat on his home track and in front of many of his relatives, makes this a very rewarding experience for me."
McBride's Big Ten title is the first of his career, both indoor or outdoor; he is also the first Boilermaker to win the hammer since Chris Brown in 2001. Brown also won a title in 1998.
Taylor entered the meet with a conference-best throw of 222-5 (67.79), which he recorded in late March at the Arizona State Invitational. The Ohio State senior has won six All-America titles, and has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week on seven occasions. At the Penn Relays, Taylor won both the hammer and shot titles, but could not duplicate that level of success Friday.
"A lot of Keith's opposition was very hesistant today, and I think that was because of the weather," said Zera. "They were cautious in the circle, and were very guarded in their approach. Keith stayed focused and aggressive and that's what he won by such a large margin."
McBride's teammates, J.P. Smolenski and Scott Hecht also scored in this event. Smolenski placed sixth at 195-11 (59.71) and Hecht scored the eighth place point, finishing at 193-9 (59.05).
Purdue received one top-eight showing in the women's hammer throw, as Courtney Magnuson placed seventh with her effort of 180-1 (54.88). Ohio State's Keturah Lofton won the event with her conference championship record breaking launch of 200-7 (61.15). She bested the previous record of 199-2 set at last year's outdoor championships by Michigan's April Philips.
Minnesota's Travis Brandstatter leads the decathlon after one day of competition with 3,977 points. The junior Golden Gopher, who leads Wisconsin's Ashraf Fadel by a mere 24 points, was forced to withdraw from last year's competition after sustaining a hamstring injury.
Friday afternoon, Brandstatter placed third in 100 and long jump, second in the shot put and 400, but won the high jump with a leap of 6-7 1/2 (2.02).
Wisconsin's Melissa Talbot is the leader of the heptathlon through four events. Talbot is nearly 200 points ahead of the rest of the field, with a total of 3,231 points; Tiffany Pederson of Iowa is the runner-up at 3,076.
Talbot won the 200 and 100 hurdles, placed third in the high jump and sixth in the shot put.
Seven individuals recorded NCAA provisional marks in the men's 10,000-meter run, three of them hailing from Wisconsin. Badger Simon Bairu won the race in 29:22.16, setting a new Rankin Track and Field record. Bairu broke the previous record of 29:26.68 which was set by Michigan State's Kyle Baker at the 1999 Big Ten Championships.
Bairu's teammates Tim Keller (2nd; 29:24.72) and Tim Nelson (6th; 29:36.40) also collected points for the Wisconsin scoring effort, giving them first place after the first day of competition. Minnesota is second with 16 points and host Purdue is third with 14 points.
Michigan's State's Jamie Kryzminski capped the night's final event, winning the 10,000 with a time of 35:19.08. The senior Spartan has won this race the last two seasons, and will try and double her win total Sunday in the 5,000. Kryzminski was the runner-up last season in the 5,000, finishing in 16:42.35.
Kryzminski's triumph boosted the Spartans into sole possession of first place after day one of the championships, with 20 points. Ohio State is second with 14, while Purdue and Wisconsin are tied for third with 10.
Purdue's Lindsay Zinn was the runner-up Friday night, finishing in 35:31.61. Boilermaker Carrie Fett was Purdue's next highest finisher, she came in 11th at 36:51.64. West Lafayette native and current IU trackster, Jessica Gall, came in fourth at 35:54.24.
Saturday's second day of competition begins at 9:30 a.m. with the decathlon 110-meter hurdles.
Purdue's Keith McBride won his first Big Ten title, winning the hammer throw with his launch of 210-0 (64.01). The Boilermaker men have not claimed a hammer throw championship since 2001, when Chris Brown recorded the top launch; Brown also won in 1998. McBride finished fifth at last year's championships, with a top launch of 209-10; his throw Friday beat last year's runner-up Dan Taylor, who came in third at 202-0.
Keturah Lofton recorded a new Big Ten conference record in the women's hammer throw, with a launch of 200-7 (61.15m). She bested the previous record of 199-2 set at last year's outdoor championships by Michigan's April Philips.
Seven male distance runners attained NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the 10,000-meter run: Simon Bairu, Tim Keller, Will McComb, Andrew Carlson, Jason Bill, Tim Nelson and Dan Glanz.
Simon Bairu and Tim Keller of Wisconsin both broke the previous track record of 29:26.98, which was posted by Michigan State's Kyle Baker at the 1999 championships, also hosted at Purdue. Bairu won with a time of 29:22.16 and Keller finished at 29:24.72.
Michigan State's Jamie Krzyminski won the 10,000-meter run for a second straight year. The Spartan won last year's race in completing the course in 34:54.96, and this year's race in 35:19.08. Earlier this year, she broke the Michigan State outdoor record in the 10,000-meter (32:52.81) run while finishing in second place at the Stanford Invitational.
Because of the inclement weather (heavy rain and winds) that covered the West Lafayette-area midway through the afternoon, the women's pole vault competition was pushed back to Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Men's Hammer Throw Champion - Keith McBride, Purdue
"It's amazing, being a fifth year senior and coming out here today and winning. It was a rough day out here, but it all worked out for me. I don't want to lose here."
Women's Hammer Throw Champion - Keturah Lofton, Ohio State
"Last year I came in fourth and was supposed to be wonderful. I just came in focused. I didn't worry about (anybody) else. I just had to play my game. My coach was behind me, and he got us ready. I just went in there, cleared my head and said, 'Go.' I knew I could do it. I didn't think I would blow everybody away like I did."
Men's 10,000 Meters Champion - Simon Bairu, Wisconsin
"My goal coming into this race was to win it, but at the same time I didn't want to jeopardize our team score. We tried to get all four of our guys to score. It worked out for the team. When I saw the opportunity for me to take the lead I just took it and ran with it. I was happy with the outcome. Coming into the race I wasn't really worried about my time. I was more worried about competing against the field. The time was in the back of my mind, but it wasn't a focus of mine."
Women's 10,000 Meters Champion - Jamie Krzyminski, Michigan State
"It felt really good to get out and get comfortable the first 5K, let the wind be blocked for that part of the race and then just take the lead and go. With the workouts I've done and my training, I'm confident that I can go out there and compete with the best."