Aug 22, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Four Boilermakers will represent their nations this weekend in Medellin, Columbia, for the 2013 Pan-Am Junior Championships. Coy Blair, Matthew McClintock and Tate Schienbein will represent the United States of America while Vanessa McLeod will compete for Team Canada.
“To have a group this large that is this talented and for them to have the opportunity represent their countries as the very best, that speaks to the future of this program,” head track and field coach Lonnie Greene said. “Basically, it shows that in the Pan-American junior region, this is the best that there is to offer. This is being called one of the best junior US Teams and to have representation like we do from Purdue bodes well for the future of our program.”
The Pan-Am Junior Championships are open to athletes from age 16 to 19, as of Dec. 31, 2013. The championships run from Aug. 23-25 in Medellin which has hosted several similar events over the last few years.
McLeod kicks off the action for the Boilermakers as she competes in the semifinals of the women’s 800m run. She won the Canadian Junior National Championship with a Purdue school-record time of 2:04.89 which qualified her for the meet. Her race is scheduled to begin at 6:05 p.m. on Friday. The finals are scheduled for Saturday at 6:25 p.m.
Schienbein gets things going for the Purdue men, all on Team USA. He will compete in the finals of the 3,000m steeplechase on Saturday at 6:50 p.m. McClintock is next as he competes in the 10,000m run. That race is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. on Saturday. Blair wraps up the action with the shot put on Sunday. The finals are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
Schienbein qualified by winning the junior national title with a time of 9:17.30. McClintock won the junior national title with a time of 31:14.31 which was more than 21 seconds better than the runner-up. Blair qualified by winning the junior national championships in the shot put with a throw of 19.96m (65-06).
“I think Vanessa has an opportunity to win gold this weekend,” said Greene. “She ran a 2:04 at the Canadian Championships and that is running exceedingly well, especially for a freshman. Matt McClintock, Tate Schienbein and Coy Blair annihilated the field at the junior championships and I believe they all have more in the tank for this weekend. That really speaks to the future of this program.
“I hope they all enjoy the experience as much as they can and that they gain as much experience as they can,” added Greene. “At the end of the day, these are the best that the United States and Canada have to offer and I believe that they will represent their countries with honor.”