April 25, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The Purdue University men's and women's track and field teams head to Philadelphia this weekend for the 113th running of the nation's longest standing track and field meet, the Penn Relays. The Old Gold and Black has 25 athletes making the trip to compete against some of the best competition in the world.
The Penn Relays began in 1895, and have featured some of the greatest high school, collegiate and international competititors throughout its history. This year there are more than 22,000 entries slotted, and the attendance figure is likely to top 100,000 for the third straight year. Through 112 editions of the meet, more athletes have participated in the Penn Relays than at any single meet in the world, and more fans have watched the meet than any in the world except the Olympics and World Championships.
Of the 25 athletes running this weekend for Purdue, 12 women and five men will participate in the open competitions. The women will compete in a trio of Championship of America Relays as they're slotted in the distance medley, the 4x800-meters and the shuttle hurdle. Seniors Laura Farley and Corrie Whisner and freshman Kristin Phillips will handle the bulk of the load as they will compete in both the DMR and the 4x800-meter relay. Joining them in the DMR will be freshman Rachel Stalzer to run the 400-meter leg, while fellow rookie Ashlee Lengacher will pick up a leg of the 4x800. Senior Lindsey Singleton, junior captain Leah Kincaid, sophomore Ranay Harvey and first-year Christina Madison are slotted for the shuttle hurdle relay as all four posted season- or career-bests at last weekend's 100-meter hurdles at the Dave Rankin Invitational. Kincaid finished in 13.56, while Harvey notched a NCAA Mideast Regional qualifying time of 13.87. Singleton and Madison both earned personal bests in 14.23 and 14.47, respectively.
Also scheduled to battle the international fields are senior Lindsey Blaine and junior Astin Steward. Blaine posted one of the top javelin throws in the country last weekend, hurling it a career-best 50.75 meters (166-06), while Steward has recorded the second best hammer and discus marks in Purdue history this season, hitting 58.96 meters (193-05) in the hammer throw and 52.41 meters (171-11) in the discus.
The Purdue women also have a few competitors still in search of NCAA Regional qualifiers, including Kincaid and Madison. Kincaid has already marked in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump and hopes to hit the 12.32-meter standard in the triple jump this weekend. Madison fell just shy of the 6.00-meter qualifying mark in the long jump last weekend and hopes to punch her regional ticket on Thursday. Also vying for qualifiers will be senior Lindsay Polhemus and freshmen Stacey Wannemacher and Katie Morrical. Polhemus needs to add 0.69 meters (2-02.25) to her top discus throw of the season to hit the regional mark, while Wannemacher is aiming for qualifying standards in the discus and hammer throw and Morrical is just over 16 seconds away from the regional-qualifying time in the 5,000-meter run.
On the men's side, the Boilers are set to field 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays, while three-time Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week Keith Hopkins and senior Rickey Pinkey will run in the open 110-meter high hurdles. Hopkins will run on both relays along with fellow junior Jh'Rome Tuggle and sophomore Zach Logan. Pinkney will pick up the fourth spot on the 4x100, while junior captain Brian Kaluf will round out the 4x400. Hopkins is ranked in the top five in NCAA Division I in the 110-hurdles with a season-best time of 13.56, while Pinkney stands 16th in the collegiate standings with a season-best mark of 13.92.
The Boilermakers open up their Penn Relay action on Thursday at 5 p.m. with the Championship of America distance medley relay. For more information and up-to-date results visit the official Penn Relays website.