WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The track & field teams head to the University of Kentucky for the Rod McCravy Invitational on Saturday. The Boilermakers are in a field of national powers that also includes Clemson, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Virginia Tech. The event will be broadcast live on SEC+ and begins at 10 a.m. ET.
The 26th-ranked women’s team will have another shot at Kentucky in the 4x400-meter relay, which is scheduled for 3:45. The Boilermakers and Wildcats were part of the fastest mile relay race so far this season two weeks ago at the Clemson Invitational. Three of the top-six times in the country came from the first heat, including Purdue’s No. 6 time and Kentucky’s No. 3 mark. This time, it will be on a 300-meter track, the first time that the Boilermakers have run on a surface that size this season. That is the same size track as the one at SPIRE Institute, where Purdue will compete in the Big Ten Championships later this month.
Among the headliners for the women are sophomore Chloe Abbott and redshirt freshman Samara Miller. Abbott, who is a member of that sixth-ranked 4x4 team, ranks 15th individually in the 400-meter dash and 27th in the 200 meters, has had a big week. Wednesday, she sang the national anthem at the Purdue men’s basketball against Maryland in front of 14,804 fans and left the capacity crowd in awe. Now, she is set to toe the line against a loaded field in the 400-meter dash. The field includes senior teammates Brionna Thomas, the defending Big Ten champion and school record-holder, and Symone Black, who has won a pair of Big Ten titles in the 400-meter hurdles and been runner-up in the dash. Kentucky freshman Sydney McLaughlin, who competed in the 400-meter hurdles at the Rio Olympics, is also in that heat.
You’ve heard about it, here it is. @chloeeabbott1 received a standing ovation from the @BoilerBall crowd last night for her rendition of the national anthem. Don’t miss it! #BoilerUp pic.twitter.com/gg08o2bhiI
— Purdue Track & Field (@PurdueTrackXC) February 1, 2018
Miller is this week’s Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week on the women’s side for her efforts in the 600-meter run, where she ranks second nationally. She only began seriously competing in track & field in eighth grade after a life-changing event caused her to switch from her life-long passion of ballet to pursue racing. That full story can be found by clicking here.
On the men’s side, the Boilermakers have a pair of the nation’s top high jumpers. Senior Eric Blackman is a second-team All-American in the event and is No. 16 in the country, but freshman Rahman Minor has the top mark this season after clearing 2.18 meters (7-1.75) last week. Minor and Blackman have the top two jumps of the competition, respectively, entering the meet.
The Boilermakers are set to travel 28 men and 28 women to the meet. Live updates can be found on Twitter @PurdueTrackXC. A full recap and results will be posted to PurdueSports.com.