SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Boilermakers, incoming, past and present, have a busy weekend at national championships, mainly the U.S Track & Field Championships. Alumna Kara (Patterson) Winger got things started by winning the women’s javelin Thursday, her seventh career USATF title.
Winger, a 2009 graduate and the American record holder in the event, had five throws better than anyone else in the competition. She opened with a mark of 62.80 meters (206 feet), which was her best of the competition. In all, she had three throws of at least 61.56 meters (202 feet) and won by nearly 15 feet.
Purdue junior Micaela Hazlewood also competed on the opening day of the USATF Championships. She finished 15th in the discus with a best of 50.18 meters (164 feet, 7 inches) just two weeks after placing 13th at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Incoming Boilermaker Molly Leppelmeier was in the U.S. Junior Championship discus competition Thursday. She finished 10th with a best throw of 47.62 meters (156 feet, 3 inches). Leppelmeier was recently named the Gatorade Ohio Track & Field Player of the Year in Ohio. For more information on her honor, scroll to the bottom of the page. Leppelmeier will also compete in the shot put and hammer throw late Friday.
Chloe Abbott won her heat of the 400-meter dash to automatically advance to Saturday’s final of the U.S. Junior Championships. Abbott, who just wrapped up her freshman season, ran a person record time 52.68 seconds. The time is the second fastest ever run by a Purdue woman. She will run for the U.S. Junior title Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Alum Matthew McClintock was in the 10,000-meter run Friday at the U.S. Championships and took 10th place. McClintock, a 2016 graduate who now runs for ZAP Fitness Reebok, posted a time of 29:22.83 and moved up six spots in his final two miles of the race.
Jalil Brewer, who redshirted this year as a freshman, competed in the shot put at the U.S. Junior Championships. He placed seventh after her put the 6kg shot 19.13 meters (62 feet, 9.25 inches).
Dani Bunch, a 2014 graduate, will compete in the women’s shot put competition Saturday at the U.S. Championships. Bunch has had a successful season and is currently fifth in the world, second among Americans, for the 2017 season. She will be the 17th of 18 throwers in the event, which is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. Bunch has a season-best throw of 19.12 meters (62 feet, 8.75 inches).
Savannah Carson, who just finished up her redshirt junior season for the Boilermakers, will also compete Saturday. She is in the long jump after finishing seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships two weeks ago. Carson has a season best of 6.66 meters (21 feet, 10.25 inches). That event is scheduled for 3:45.
Trent Fanta, who redshirted his freshman year this spring, will compete in the U.S. Junior Championships hammer throw competition Saturday. He is slated to throw at 7:30 p.m.
Devynne Charlton, Carmiesha Cox and Kinard Rolle are scheduled to compete at the Bahamas National Track & Field Championships Friday and Saturday. Cox will run in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash, both of which have Friday prelims. Rolel will run in the men’s 400-meter dash, scheduled for Friday, while Charlton will compete in the 100-meter hurdles, which is scheduled for Saturday. Charlton was a first team All-American in the event after placing fifth at the NCAA Championships two weeks ago, while Cox and Charlton were both first team All-Americans as half of Purdue’s 4x100-meter relay team.
Incoming freshman Tamar Greene competed in the Bahamas Junior National Championships last week and won the Under 20 triple jump. He had a windy (+2.8) best mark of 15.01 meters (49 feet, 3 inches).
Leppelmeier Named Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year
Thursday, incoming freshman Molly Leppelmeier was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for track & field in Ohio. The McComb High School graduate is the first to be selected from her high school. She is also the first thrower to win the Ohio award since 2013. She will now be up for the Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, which will be announced next week.
The award recognizes athletic excellence, high academic achievement and exemplary conduct on and off the track.
Leppelmeier picked up the award after winning the state championship in the shot put and discus at the Division 3 meet. She then went on to the New Balance National Outdoor Championships, where she placed third in the shot put, discus and hammer throw. Her season bests in the shot put (50 feet, 10.25 inches) and discus (171 feet, 5 inches) both rank among the top five prep performances in 2017.
Leppelmeier’s selection was also based on her involvement with her church group and countless hours volunteering and academic success. She has spent time working at homeless shelters, nursing homes, blood drives and a Vacation Bible School, all while maintaining a 4.0 Grade Point Average.