May 30, 2008
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Purdue men's and women's track and fields teams locked up five automatic bids to the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships at the first day of the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, hosted by the University of Arkansas at John McDonnell Field on Friday. Along with those five, two others managed to finish in the top eight of their event fields and scored team points for the Boilermakers.
Sophomore Adetayo Adesanya became the first Boilermaker to punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships, taking fourth place in the men's high jump and securing an automatic bid with his jump of 2.11 meters (6-11.00). Classmate Lance Moe just missed joining Adesanya, tying for fifth-place overall, but losing the five-way jump off to Southern's Jason House, who secured the final automatic bid for the Mideast Regional.
Freshman Billy Hardcastle followed suit in the men's shot put, taking fifth overall with a throw of 17.67 meters (57-11.75) and notching an automatic bid. Senior Tyler Miller kept his NCAA Championship hopes alive, picking up a team point in eighth place with a throw of 17.51 (57-05.50) and staying eligible for an at-large bid to nationals. His season-best throw of 18.69 meters (61-04.00) was the country's No. 19 mark, and should earn him a spot in the NCAA Championship field.
On the women's side, sophomore Brianna Neumann continued the parade of automatic qualifiers, finishing second and setting a new Purdue outdoor record in the women's pole vault with a height of 4.16 meters (13-07.75). Junior Mallory Peck was right behind, picking up an automatic bid of her own with her fourth-place showing. Peck tied for fourth with a mark of 4.06 meters (13-03.75), but won a jump off against Wisconsin's Jenny Soceka to nab an automatic regional spot.
Senior Astin Steward capped the first day with a silver-medal performance in the discus, marking 53.65 meters (176-00) and automatically qualifying for the national championships. She rebounded from an 18th-place showing in the women's hammer throw (53.70m/176-02) for her second straight regional placing in the discus and second straight season she posted a career best at the regional meet. She bounced up from 12th to sixth overall with her final preliminary attempt, marking 50.37 meters (165.03) to make the finals, and on her fifth throw she posted her best throw of the season and locked up her second-place finish. Sophomore Stacey Wannemacher failed to join Steward in the finals of the discus, finishing 14th overall with a toss of 48.20 meters (158-02).
Freshman Josh Hembrough secured a spot in tomorrow's finals in the men's 110-meter hurdles, placing second in his heat with a career-best time of 13.75. His time moves him up to third all-time at Purdue and leaves him in a good position to at least earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. Senior Brian Kaluf just missed the finals in the 110-hurdles, finishing ninth with a career-best time of 13.98.
Junior Ranay Harvey and senior Leah Kincaid finished 20th and 24th in the women's 100-meter hurdles, respectively, with times of 13.57 and 13.76. Kincaid returned to miss a trip to the NCAA Championships in the long jump by just one place, finishing 13th with a mark of 6.13 meters (20-01.50). Sophomore Christina Madison followed in 18th with a jump of 5.90 meters (19-04.25). Harvey came back in the 400-meter hurdles to take 20th with a time of 1:01.00. Sophomore Ashlee Lengacher rounded out the women's track efforts with a 22nd-place showing in 2:13.26.
Sophomore Steve Carlson and senior Jim Schwingendorf missed at-large qualification in the men's javelin, placing 22nd and 23rd with respective throws of 56.25 meters (184-06) and 55.74 meters (182-10). Junior Nolan Petties was 17th in the men's long jump, marking 7.39 meters (24-03.00)
The Boilermaker women lead the team standings after the first day of competition with 20 points, while the Purdue men sit tied for fourth overall with 12 points. Auburn sits on top of the men's field, posting 24 points on the day. Action resumes tomorrow at 11 a.m. (CST) with the men's hammer throw.