Track & Field Returns Home For Dave Rankin Invitational

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Freshman Ebony Woodard aims for a standout performance in the women's 400-meter dash this weekend.

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Freshman Ebony Woodard aims for a standout performance in the women's 400-meter dash this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

April 14, 2011

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's and women's track and field teams return to the familiar confines of their home facility this weekend, hosting the Fifth-Annual Dave Rankin Invitational at Rankin Track & Field. It is the second and final outdoor home meet of the season for the Old Gold and Black as they honor the former men's coach and outdoor facility namesake.

"I think it's important to remember where we came from and recognize those who came before us here at Purdue," said Boilermaker head coach Jack Warner. "Purdue track and field would not be where it is today without people like Coach Rankin, and I think it's our responsibility to honor him and everything he did for Purdue with our competition this weekend."

A native of Warsaw, Ind., Dave Rankin was the Purdue men's track and field coach for 36 years (1946-81), after attending Purdue and competing for the Boilermakers' football and track and field teams from 1938-40. A two-time All-America honoree for the Purdue football team, Rankin was named team captain and Most Valuable Player in his senior football season and set the United States record in the indoor 60-yard hurdles in 1940.

The Boilermakers will play host to a dozen schools this weekend, including Notre Dame, Grand Valley State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Ohio State women's team will attend along with the distance runners from Northwestern, while in-state squads from Indianapolis, Ball State, Valparaiso, IUPUI and Wabash will be on hand as well.

Purdue turned in 14 season-best performances at last weekend's Sun Angel Track Classic at Arizona State University, including marks from juniors Elizabeth Stover and Ladd Mercer and sophomores Geoff Davis and Kari Shoolbriand, and they look to carry that pace into this weekend's action. Stover cleared a season best for the second straight meet in the women's pole vault, jumping over 3.81 meters (12-06.00) and closing in on her outdoor personal record of 3.87 meters (12-08.25). Davis returned to competition after a week off, marking 2.10 meters (6-10.75) in the men's high jump and will continue building up that height on Saturday. Shoolbraid turned in a career-best effort in the women's 800-meter run, speeding to a time of 2:12.13, while Mercer reclaimed the team lead in the men's 1,500-meter run, completing the race in 3:55.00 and moving towards his career-best mark of 3:47.48.

Updates will be available via the Purdue Track Twitter Page, while Delta Timing Group will provide live results via PurdueSports.com and DeltaTiming.com.