Jan. 11, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's and women's track and field teams open the 2013 indoor season with a trip to instate rival Indiana for the Purdue/IU Dual. The Boilermakers and Hoosiers are set to begin the meet a 4 p.m. ET at Gladstein Fieldhouse in Bloomington, Ind.
The 2013 season marks the beginning of the Lonnie Greene era. Greene was named the Purdue track and field head coach in August and has added a great staff as well as a number of top notch student-athletes.
"I would like to see the men and women compete well first and foremost," Greene said about the season opening meet. "The key for us is to start fast. I am somewhat excited about the start, just to see how well the teams psychologically and emotionally and physically adapt to competition. We have trained pretty aggressively throughout the fall and they have done some great things in practice. I think they are chomping at the big right now to get out there and compete."
The two teams renewed their rivalry in 2010 and the Boilermakers have come up short in each of the three meets. The Hoosiers have been a dominant team especially on the men's side as they were indoor Big Ten Champions last season.
The Boilermakers return a number of talented veterans on the men's and women's sides. Geoff Davis looks to pace the high jumpers for a third consecutive year. Davis has been one of the top high jumpers in the league including a Big Ten Championship during the 2011 indoor season and a runner-up performance in 2012. Jakob Engel is the most experienced of the Purdue throwers. Engel is a fifth year senior and has won numerous meets in the shot put. He is also among the Big Ten's best throwers.
On the women's side Dani Bunch is the top returner for the throws group. Bunch has a total of three Big Ten Championships to her name including back-to-back weight throw titles. The junior is no slouch in the shot put either. Bunch was runner-up at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships. Bunch is also a school-record holder. Ciana Tabb will also look to build on her excellent season from 2012. Tabb will compete in the 200m dash, 60m hurdles and run a leg of the 4x400m relay.
Both teams boast a wealth of talented newcomers. Coy Blair was the shot put State Champion in Ohio during his senior year and was a Gatorade Player of the Year nominee. Blair had the second-best shot put throw in the entire country in 2012. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi also adds talent to a dominant throws group. Enekwechi, a redshirt freshman, will compete in the shot put and weight throw and was named a USA Junior All-American after his performance at the USA Junior Championships this past summer. Jordan Roos was also a top 10 thrower in the country coming out of high school. Roos will compete in the shot put just 11 days after he was with the Purdue football team in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
For the women, Vania Anane was a four-time All-City Champion and three-time Regional Champion in El Paso, Texas in the triple jump. She will look to help fill part of the void left by the departure of one of Purdue's greatest jumpers, Leah Eber. Eber was the Big Ten Champion in the long jump for indoors and outdoors last season as was a finalist in the triple jump. Eber also has her name at the top of multiple records. Vanessa McLeod is an outstanding runner and comes to Purdue from Toronto, Ontario. McLeod will compete in the 600m and the 4x800m relay. As a prep star, McLeod was a 12-time regional champion in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m races. She also earned a number of provincial medals including the Bronze Medal in the 800m as a senior.
Saturday's meet will be scored in a 5-3-1 format with points awarded to the top three places in all events except relays. In relays, only the top team will score and will receive five points.
The Boilermakers will look to better last year's performance where Indiana won on the men's side, 88-46, and the Hoosiers took the women's side, 97-39. Live results can be found at http://www.iuhoosiers.com/livestats/c-track/Purdual13/. A full recap will also be available at PurdueSports.com.