May 24, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Three Boilermakers qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday at the NCAA East Regionals on Friday. Andre’ Peart, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, and Coy Blair are the first Purdue men to head to the championships since 2011.
The Boilermakers were well represented in the men’s shot put as they had four of the 48 competitors. Enekwechi competed in the second of four flights because he entered as the 27th seed with a personal record of 17.68m (58-00.25). The redshirt freshman went out and had the biggest day of his career. He opened up with a throw of 18.67m (61-03), a distance that ended up being farther than any distance by all but two other throwers. That distance also put him in sixth on the all-time Purdue list.
With his second throw, Enekwechi again broke his PR and threw 18.76m (61-06.75) which moved him into fourth all-time at Purdue. The crowd really starting buzzing after the Laurelton, N.Y., native’s third throw. That is because he threw 19.05m (62-06), the third-best throw in Purdue history and just a centimeter behind the No. 2 throw of all time. The distance was four feet, five and three quarter inches farther than his previous best. It held on to be the third-best mark in the competition and advanced him to the championships.
Blair also qualified in the shot put, but his path was not nearly as smooth. The freshman was in the third flight and struggled to find his pop early. He opened with a decent mark of 17.73m (58-02). That was his best in the prelims and was good enough to advance him to the finals in 14th place, one spot behind his seed. After five throws, Blair needed to improve by at least four and a half inches to qualify for the NCAA Championships. His sixth throw came out with a low trajectory, but was strong enough to travel 18.10m (59-04.75) and give him the 11th place finish and a trip to Eugene, Ore., for the championships.
Peart was in the 400m hurdles national quarterfinals after winning his heat on Thursday with a time of 51.24 seconds. Friday, he was in the third heat and needed to finish in the top three in his heat or have one of the top three fastest non-automatic qualifying times to advance to Eugene. Peart was in lane five and immediately caught the runner in lane six. From there, he had to determine his own pace since he had passed his nearest lane so quickly. Peart did a nice job of it until the final turn when he saw the runner in lane four catch him and start to pull away. The distraction nearly caused the Purdue junior to trip with just two hurdles left, but he maintained his balance and poise and held on for a third place finish in the heat. Peart’s time was 51.72 seconds, nearly a second off his PR and school record.
Here’s a breakdown of how the rest of the Boilermakers did on Friday, starting with top performances.
Brandon Winters – 110m Hurdles
Winters entered as the 28th seed with a PR of 14.03 seconds. Friday, he ran a time of 13.91 (13.904) seconds and finished second in his heat and 12th overall. That automatically qualified him for Saturday’s quarterfinals which will begin at 7:20 p.m. ET. Winters will need to finish either top three in his heat or be one of the top three non-automatic qualifiers in order to make it to the NCAA Championships.
Ciana Tabb – 100m Hurdles
Tabb entered as the 43rd seed in the event with a PR of 13.67 seconds. Tabb ran the best race of her life and finished with a time of 13.59 seconds, a lifetime best. The time was good for sixth in her heat, just a hundredth of a second out of fifth. Tabb missed qualifying for the quarterfinals by just five hundredths of a second. Her time was 28th overall, 15 spots up from her seed.
Jakob Engel – Shot Put
Engel snuck into the finals with the 16th best throw during the prelims with a mark of 17.66m (57-11.25). That made the finals by a half inch. From there, Engel improved his distance to 17.79m (58-04.25), but that was only enough to move him up to 15th place, not the 12th place he needed to advance to the championships. Engel wrapped up his career with the event. He has his name in the record books in both the indoor and outdoor shot put. Engel is tied for the fifth-best outdoor distance (it was fourth before Enekwechi’s performance on Friday). He also has the second-best indoor shot put distance in program history and wrapped up his indoor career by scoring a point at the NCAA Championships and earning All-America honors. He also earned a sixth place finish at the B1G outdoor meet a couple weeks ago, his first time scoring at the conference meet.
Jordan Roos – Shot Put
Roos entered the event as the 36 seed and had a best distance of 17.38m (57-00.25). He threw 17.25m (56-07.25) on Friday which was good for 23rd place, 13 spots up from his seed. He did not advance to the NCAA Championships.
Dani Bunch – Hammer Throw
Bunch finished 32nd in the event with a throw of 54.02m (177-3). She did not qualify for the event finals, but she does have another opportunity on Saturday. Bunch will compete in her primary event, the shot put, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Vanessa McLeod – 800m
McLeod was caught in a fast heat and got off to a blazing pace. She completed her 400m split in just over 57 seconds and didn’t quite have enough to bring it home from there. McLeod finished sixth in the heat and 19th overall with a time of 2:09.52. The freshman qualified for the quarterfinals on Thursday with a school-record time of 2:06.08, but will not advance to the NCAA Championships.
Kevin Griffith – 800m
Griffith finished 22nd in the quarterfinals on Friday. He ran a time of 1:52.97 which was good for seventh in his heat and 22nd overall. Griffith qualified for the quarterfinals on Thursday as an at-large after finishing 20th overall with a time of 1:50.17. He did not advance to the championships.
Eric Harris – 200m
Harris finished 42nd overall in the prelims on Friday. He ran a time of 21.67 seconds which was good for seventh in his heat. Harris did not advance to the quarterfinals.
The Boilermakers have many chances at qualifying more student-athletes for the NCAA Championships on Saturday. Purdue’s Saturday schedule can be found below.
10 a.m. - Men's Hammer Throw - Chuk Enekwechi
5:30 p.m. - Women's Triple Jump - Cierra Brown
5:30 p.m. - Women's Shot Put - Dani Bunch
6 p.m. - Men's High Jump - Geoff Davis
7:20 p.m. - 110mHH Finals - Brandon Winters
8:45 p.m. - Men's 5k - Matthew McClintock
9:45 p.m. - Men's 4x400m Relay - Purdue A
Live results can be found at http://www.flashresults.com/?DB_OEM_ID=24500 while a live blog can be found on the game day central page at http://www.purduesports.com/sports/c-track/spec-rel/052313aab.html.