EUGENE, Ore. – The women’s team finished eighth in the country with 34 points at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The finish is the best in program history by four spots, while the point total is 15.7 points more than the Boilermakers have ever scored at the meet.
Saturday’s historic day was fueled by a pair of runner-up finishes. First, senior Devynne Charlton earned first team All-America honors with a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. She was the fastest out of the blocks and led with three hurdles to go, before finishing with a runner-up time of 12.77 seconds, 0.07 of a second shy of Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Kentucky. Charlton was one of just two women to run sub-13 seconds in the heavy rain. The finish is the best ever by a Purdue woman in the event at the NCAA Championships.
The women’s 4x400-meter relay wrapped up the meet with a second-place finish. The team of sophomore Chloe Abbott, senior Brionna Thomas, senior Symone Black and senior Jahneya Mitchell battled the nation’s perennial powers to earn first team All-America honors. The Boilermakers had the lead down the stretch before being edged by Southern California, who was also the NCAA Champion in the indoor 4x400-meter relay. Purdue finished with its second-best time of the year, crossing the line in 3:27.13, just 0.06 of a second shy of the win. The finish is the best ever by Purdue in the event at the NCAA outdoor Championships.
Thomas and Abbott were also in the 400-meter dash finals earlier in the day, the first Boilermakers to ever advance to the finals in the event. Thomas hung in the front throughout the race before shattering her own school record with a time of 50.78 seconds to take third. Her time was 0.35 of a second faster than her old record. Abbott was in the middle of the pack throughout the race and pulled through at the end to earn a fifth-place finish. Her time was 51.87 seconds. Thomas and Abbott are Purdue’s first first team All-Americans in the event.
Black was in the 400-meter hurdles finals Saturday. She became the first woman in school history to earn multiple first team All-America honors in the event after placing fourth with a time of 57.22 seconds, a year after she took seventh. Her finish is the highest ever by a Boilermaker in the event.
Senior Micaela Hazlewood earned second team All-America honors after placing 10th in the discus. She finished with a best mark of 52.87 meters (173-5) in heavy rain and hail.
The meet wraps up an illustrious career for the women’s seniors. The group of seven at the meet finishes their careers with a combined 49 All-America honors.
Charlton’s All-America honor Saturday is the ninth of her career, including the seventh first-team nod. Thomas’ two All-America honors give her an unprecedented 13 for her career, including four first team honors this year alone. Black’s two first team awards give her 10 All-America honors in her career, while Mitchell has three in her three semesters at Purdue. Savannah Carson earned first team honors in the long jump Thursday and finishes her career with eight All-America honors. Hazlewood’s second team honor gives her four All-America awards for her career. Senior Savannah Roberson was an alternate at the meet and did not compete. She had two All-America honors in her career.
The senior class scored 28 points at the meet. That total is more than the total score of all but seven teams in the country.
The eighth-place finish is the first time the women have ever been in the top 10 at any point during an outdoor season. The Boilermakers rose as high as No. 11 earlier this year, before entering the meet ranked 13th.
Purdue was the class of the Big Ten at the meet. The Boilermakers 34 points were more than the next two best teams’ scores combined. Iowa was second among Big Ten teams with 19 points, while Wisconsin had the third best total with 12. Penn State finished with 11.5, while Michigan had five. Ohio State and Minnesota both scored two points and Michigan State rounded out the Big Ten teams who scored with one. Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska and Rutgers did not score.