Jan. 12, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue track & field team announced the addition of six football players and a transfer this week. Ishmael Aristide, Gary Bush, Normondo Harris, Akeem Hunt, Shane Mikesky, and Raheem Mostert join the program fresh off a 7-6 season with the football team while Kevin Griffith comes from the University of California-Davis.
"We are excited and pleased that we are reestablishing that track/football connection that has been a benefit to the track and field program in the past," head track and field coach Jack Warner said. "These six young men will add tremendous depth to our sprint and jump corps. Our goals for them will be for them to be Big Ten and National scorers as well as assist them in becoming even faster on the football field. This is a win-win for both teams."
Hunt, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound freshman from Covington, Ga., was part of Newton High School's 4x100m relay team that won back-to-back Class AAAAA State Championships during his junior and senior years. The group repeated as champions after running a time of 41.79 seconds. Hunt also finished second in the state in his final high school season in the long jump with a distance of 22 feet, 10.75 inches. He also was part of the 4x400m relay team that finished third in the state. This season on the football team, Hunt was the team's third leading rusher after carrying the ball 33 times for 287 yards, an 8.7 yard average per carry, and two touchdowns.
Mikesky is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound freshman from Zionsville, Ind. During his junior season at Zionsville High School, Mikesky ran the sixth fasted time in the country in the 110m hurdles. He also won three consecutive state titles in the hurdles and posted a personal record his senior year with a time of 13.85 seconds. Mikesky also finished ninth in the 300m hurdles during his final high school season. This season on the football team, Mikesky was a wide receiver, but did not see any action.
Mostert is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound freshman athlete from New Smyrna Beach, Fla. During his high school career, the speedster finished fourth in both the 100m and 300m hurdles at the FHSAA AAA State Championships. In the 100m he posted a time of 10.69 seconds while in the 300m hurdles he ran a 37.96. Mostert was also a standout high school football returner as he returned nine kickoffs and a punt for a touchdown. This season for the Purdue football team, Mostert displayed his lightning speed. He had 16 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns. More notably, in just his first year of college football, Mostert finished as the nation's top ranked kick returner as he had 25 returns for 837 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 33.5 yards per return to lead the nation and set a Little Caesars Pizza Bowl record with a 99-yard kickoff return for a score.
Harris is a 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore from Miami, Fla. In his high school career at Monsignor Pace, Harris finished second in the state in the triple jump with a mark of 46-6.5. This season on the football team, Harris was a regular contributor as a defensive back and accumulated 22 total tackles and a pass break up.
Aristide is a 5-foot-11, 199-pound sophomore from Orlando, Fla. During his prep career at Maynard Evans High School, Aristide ran a hand-timed 10.7 in the 100m dash. He also posted a fully-electronic 10.88 in the 100m. On the football team for Purdue, Aristide has appeared on the special teams and as a reserve at safety.
Bush is a 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore from Miami, Fla. He attended Christopher Columbus High School and was a standout long jumper and sprinter. During his junior year, Bush finished third in the state in the long jump. This season on the football team, Bush was the team's fourth leading receiver in terms of catches and yards and was tied for the team lead with three touchdown receptions. He hauled in 29 passes for 310 yards with a long of 48 yards.
Griffith is a 6-foot-1 sophomore from Danville, Calif. During his senior year at San Ramon Valley High School, Griffith finished fifth in the state and 20th in the country in the 800m. He also was a part of the 4x400m relay team that got sixth place in his final prep season. Last season, Griffith competed collegiately at UC-Davis. While there, he finished fifth in the Big West conference in the 800m. He also posted a season best 1:50.66 in that race which ranks fourth all time in UC-Davis lore. He also ran cross country.
"Kevin Griffith will give us that 800 runner who can compete at the Big Ten level and move on to nationals," said Warner. "He is very talented and we are anxious to get him in uniform for the Boilermakers. We are excited to watch Kevin compete this weekend versus IU."
These six individuals will look to help the Boilermakers in the coming weeks this season in events from the 800m to the long jump, triple jump, and sprints.