July 11, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The incoming class for the Purdue track and field team is loaded with high school champions. The group includes six different 2014 individual state champions from three states, including two-event champion Symone Black who was named the Gatorade Indiana Track Athlete of the Year.
Black, a sprinter/hurdler from Ft. Wayne Concordia Lutheran High School won a pair of state titles with a win in the 100m hurdles and the 300m hurdles. She shattered the state record in the 300m hurdles with a time of 41.36 seconds, 0.67 of a second better than the previous record. Black also won the Midwest Meet of the Champions, held after the state meets between Michigan, Ohio and Indiana high school athletes, in the 300m hurdles, and took second in the 100m hurdles.
Elizabeth Iversen stood at the top of the podium after winning the Indiana women’s shot put. The Martinsville native threw 47 feet, nine and three quarter inches to take the state title by more than seven inches. Another thrower to win a state title from the Cross Roads state was Gelen Robinson. Robinson, who will compete for the Purdue football program in the fall, won the men’s discus and finished third in the shot put.
A pair of incoming Boilermakers went 1-2 in the Indiana men’s 300m hurdles. Justin Veteto of Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind., won the event in 36.85 seconds. Timothy Deal of Penn High School in Mishawaka took second in 37.91 seconds. The two were the only competitors to run times under 38 seconds. Veteto also picked up a silver medal finish in the 110m hurdles. He ran a time of 14.16 seconds, just 0.07 of a second behind the winner.
Luke Lewis was the third incoming Boilermaker thrower to win a state championship. Lewis won the Pennsylvania state championship in the shot put with a throw over 61 feet.
Autumn Heath was named the Division I Athlete of the Year in Ohio after her incredible senior season. Heath won the women’s 100m dash with a time of 11.90 seconds, after running 11.83 in the prelims. Heath also took second in the 200m dash with a time of 23.99 seconds into a headwind of 0.7 meters per second. She was just 0.01 of a second behind the champion.
Abigail Hostetler of Freemont, Ind., had a pretty good state meet of her own. The incoming distance runner took third in the state in the 1,600m run.
Savannah Roberson, from Ann Arbor, Mich., has won national titles for her club team and was a regional champion this year, but pulled out of the state meet with an illness. She helped the Michigan 4x200m relay team take second at the Midwest Meet of the Champions.
The group will join a Purdue team that is coming off one of its best seasons in recent history. The Boilermakers took third in the conference on the women’s side at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, while the men took fifth. The teams combined to break nearly 25 different school records for the indoor and outdoor seasons combined.