Feb. 15, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue track and field teams will host their final indoor home event of the season on Saturday. The Boilermakers will honor their former coach Fred Wilt by naming the invitational the Fred Wilt Boilermaker Invitational.
Purdue welcomes 12 other teams and a number of unattached individuals to the invitational. A host of instate schools are among the 12 including Wabash, Goshen, Indiana Tech, Indianapolis, Valparaiso, IPFW, and IUPUI. Saturday's meet will serve as the final tune-up before the Big Ten Indoor Championships next week in Geneva, Ohio.
An event to keep an eye on will be the women's weight throw. Dani Bunch is scheduled to compete for Purdue. Bunch is a two-time defending Big Ten Champion in the event and currently has the eighth-best throw nationally this season. Brittany Smith of Illinois State is also in the event. Smith, a senior, currently has the nation's fourth-best throw on the season with a distance of 21.51m (70-07.00). Bunch's career-best distance is 21.02m (68-11.75) which is second-best in program history. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi will compete in the weight throw on the men's side. He has the nation's fifth-best throw this season after recording a distance of 21.02m (68-11.75) last week.
The shot put looks to be pretty tough on the men's and women's sides as well. For the men, Coy Blair, Enekwechi, Jakob Engel, and Jordan Roos lead the way for Purdue. On the women's side, Bunch has the Big Ten's best throw this season with a distance of 16.70m (54-09.50) which is 13th nationally and a Purdue school record. She will again battle Smith of Illinois State who has the nation's seventh-best throw this season with a distance of 17.05m (55-11.25). Ashley Duncan is also scheduled to compete. Duncan is unattached and has a personal-best in the shot put of 17.57m (57-07.75).
Geoff Davis is scheduled to compete in the high jump for Purdue. The senior has the 12th-best mark in the country after he cleared 2.22m (7-03.25) on Jan. 25th. Davis is also scheduled to compete in the triple jump which he has done just once this season.
School-record holder Vanessa McLeod will be back in the 800m run just a week after setting the Purdue standard. McLeod, a freshman, ran a time of 2:07.70. She will be pushed, though, by teammate Kari Shoolbraid who will make her first appearance in the event this season.
The Fred Wilt Boilermaker Invitational is named to former Purdue coach who was at the helm of cross country and track and field from 1978-89. Wilt is credited with coaching one of the most successful eras in Purdue history. The late coach led the cross country team to a second place finish at the Big Ten Championships in 1983 as well as a second place outdoor track and field finish in 1986. Wilt then coached the women's team to the programs first Big Ten Title for the outdoor season in 1987. He coached 17 All-Americans and one National Champion. Wilt is a member of the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame, USATF Hall of Fame, as well as the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame where he competed collegiately.
Live results will be available on PurdueSports.com for Saturday's meet. Fans can also follow a live, interactive blog of the meet on the same site. The team is available on Twitter, @PurdueTrackXC, and on Facebook.