June 10, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - The Purdue Boilermakers are set to begin the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Wednesday. Head coach Lonnie Greene and his staff have nine entries in the field for the four-day event.
The Purdue men’s 4x100m relay team kicks off the track action at the championships at 4 p.m. PT Wednesday in the first event on the track. The team of Tyler Askew, Andrew Kendrick, Eric Harris II and Raheem Mostert earned an automatic bid with a time of 39.34 seconds at the NCAA East Prelims two weeks ago. The Boilermaker team is slated for the second heat and will run in lane 7. In running events, the top two in each heat automatically qualify for the finals, and then the next fastest two from the three heats moves on to complete the eight-team final. The Purdue team’s qualifying time is the third-fastest in the heat heading into Wednesday’s race.
BreAnna Smith will be the first Purdue woman to compete, and the second Boilermaker to compete, as she is slated to run at 4:45 p.m. in the women’s 800m. Smith automatically qualified by winning her heat at the NCAA East Prelim with a time of 2:05.61. The senior runner will start in lane 5 of the first heat.
Mostert will compete in a second event on Wednesday with the men’s 100m dash semifinals at 5:30. Mostert ran a 10.15 at the NCAA East Prelims to qualify, a time that was the second-fastest in the East. He will run in the first heat in lane 6 with the second-fastest qualifying time from prelims. Aaron Brown of USC is in lane 5 with a qualifying time of 10.12 seconds.
The Boilermakers return to action on Thursday with their first field event, the men’s hammer throw, at 1:30 p.m. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi will be the first Purdue student-athlete to have a chance at a national championship as the event is trials and finals. The sophomore was an All-American in the event a year ago, and qualified this year with a mark of 65.91m (216-3). This year’s Big Ten champion in the event will be the first thrower of the second flight. The top nine advance to finals.
Purdue is returns to the track with Mostert kicking off Thursday’s running events at 4 p.m. He will run in his third of three qualified events with the men’s 200m dash. The Big Ten champion in the event, Mostert will be in the third heat running out of lane 7. He will need to be in either the top two in his heat, or be one of the fastest two non-automatic qualifiers to make it to the finals.
Jake Waterman will be next on the track and will compete in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase semifinals at 5:35. The school record holder in the event, Waterman will run in the second of two heats. He needs to finish in the top five of his heat or be one of the next two fastest overall finishers to qualify for the finals.
The women’s 4x400m relay team will get its shot to qualify for finals on Thursday evening. The team of Taylor Morrison, Aarin Jones, Kari Shoolbraid and Smith run at 6:40. The Purdue squad, which holds the school record, will start in lane 2 and compete against some common foes, Minnesota and Penn State, while Notre Dame is also in the heat. The top two from each heat automatically qualify, while the next best two round out the field for the finals.
Caleb Fricke will see his first NCAA Championship action on Friday at 4 p.m. The sophomore school record holder will compete in the discus and is the final thrower in the second and final heat. The top nine overall make it to finals, which will be held 20 minutes after the trials.
Dani Bunch is the final Boilermaker to make her appearance. The senior shot putter has to wait until Saturday at 1 p.m. for her event. Bunch, the school record holder, had the top overall throw coming out of regionals with a mark of 17.39m (57-00.75). Not only does Bunch have to wait until Saturday, but she will also have to wait until every other competitor throws, as she is the final thrower in the second heat.
A full schedule of events and start lists can be found at the top of the page. ESPN will cover the event each day. Wednesday’s broadcast will be on ESPN3 and begin at 6:55 p.m. ET. Thursday’s coverage will also be on ESPN3 and begin at 6:55 p.m., while Friday will be on ESPNU starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s action will be live on ESPNU starting at 5 p.m. All of the coverage is also available on the WatchESPN app for mobile devices.
A full recap and results will be posted to PurdueSports.com following each day’s completion. A live, up-to-date blog will also be available for all Purdue action on PurdueSports.com on the Game Day Central page. Results will also be posted periodically to the official Purdue Track & Field Twitter feed, @PurdueTrackXC.