May 18, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Purdue men's and women's track and field teams picked up three more gold medals en route to respective fourth- and eighth-place finishes at the 2008 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, hosted by the University of Illinois on Sunday. Freshman Billy Hardcastle won his second event of the championships, while junior Mallory Peck and freshman Josh Hembrough both grabbed their second career Big Ten Championships.
The Purdue men racked up 94 team points over the three days to place fourth and move up one spot from last year's championships. The Boilermaker women completed the championships with 70.5 team points, improving 12.5 points, but dropping a spot in the standings from their 2007 finish. Both squads topped the archrival Hoosiers of Indiana University, securing two points and forcing the first tie in the history of the annual Crimson and Gold Cup competition between the two schools.
Hardcastle had his second impressive performance in as many days, leading a Purdue 1-2 finish in the men's shot put. Senior teammate Tyler Miller led the competition through four throws with a career-best mark of 18.69 meters (61-04.00), but wound up second overall as Hardcastle unleashed a toss of 18.85 meters (61-10.25) on his second-to-last throw to win the event. Both throws move the Boilermakers in to the national top-20 in the men's shot put and the top-six in the NCAA Mideast Region.
Peck topped the women's pole vault for the second time in her career, winning her first conference championship at the 2007 indoor meet. She cleared a Big Ten Championship record 4.15 meters (13-07.25) on the day, setting a new outdoor career best and matching the Boilermakers' school record in the event. Sophomore teammate Brianna Neumann shared seventh place with her jump of 3.95 meters (12-11.50), which is a season-best, and freshman Tara Turnbull just missed scoring, finishing ninth with a mark of 3.85 meters (12-07.50).
Hembrough continued his Big Ten dominance of the sprint hurdles, taking home the 110-meter title with a time of 13.75. The wind aided mark would have moved him into third-place all-time at Purdue and 17th in the nation, but the breeze exceeded the 4.0 meter per second allowance for NCAA Regional qualification.
The Purdue women piled up field-event points on Sunday, scoring in the discus, triple jump and high jump. Senior Astin Steward and sophomore Stacey Wannemacher came home fourth and sixth, respectively, in the discus as Steward marked 47.71 meters (156-06), while Wannemacher threw 46.18 meters (151-06). Wannemacher's performance made her the only woman to score in three throws events at the championships. Sophomore Christina Madison placed in her second event in as many days, taking home sixth with a leap of 12.48 meters (40-11.50), while freshman Emily Breslin cleared a collegiate-best 1.71 meters (5-07.25) in the high jump to claim seventh.
On the men's side, senior Jim Schwingendorf and sophomore Steve Carlson took home fourth and fifth place in the javelin with a pair of career-best marks. Schwingendorf improved his season-best and the fifth-longest throw in school history to 62.42 meters (204-09), and Carlson notched the Boilermakers' school-record 35th NCAA Mideast Regional qualifying mark, hurling it 61.79 meters (202-09). Junior Nolan Petties scored in his second event of the championships, taking sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 15.27 meters (50-01.25).
The Boilermakers added some more team points on the track as seniors Leah Kincaid and Jh'Rome Tuggle, junior Ranay Harvey and sophomore Ashlee Lengacher all placed in their respective events. Kincaid clocked a time of 11.76 to place fifth in the women's 100-meter dash, while Harvey placed in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, taking sixth and eighth with times of 13.72 and 1:01.42. Tuggle was seventh in the men's 200-meter dash with a time of 21.67, while Lengacher grabbed seventh in the women's 800-meter run, crossing the line in 2:10.51.
Purdue closed out the championships with 12 medalists, including seven Big Ten Champions. The Boilermakers continue their postseason in two weeks, heading to Fayetteville, Ark. for the NCAA Mideast Regionals. They carry 26 individual athletes to the regional meet, including 16 on the men's side and 10 on the women's.