Purdue teams starts great at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Purdue men’s and women’s track and field teams had a great first day at the 2009 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, hosted by Ohio State at Jesse Owens Track Stadium on Friday. Both the men and the women sit in third place in the team standings as the men scored 10 points and the women tallied 14.

Senior Ben Harpenau highlighted the day for the men with his first career Big Ten Championship and a personal record in the hammer throw, topping the field by more than four meters with a mark of 64.35 meters (211-01).

Harpenau drew the first throw in the first flight of the event, and gave the competition a mark to chase, loosing his winner on his first attempt. He nearly bettered his throw on his second attempt in the finals, unleashing a monster throw, but the official called a foul, saying Harpenau’s foot went outside the ring. He’s the 106th Big Ten Champion in Purdue men’s history and owns the fourth-longest throw all-time for the Boilermakers.

Junior Stacey Wannemacher headlined the women’s effort, matching Harpenau’s performance with her first conference title and career-best in the hammer throw. Her mark of 56.23 meters (184-06) is the best in the Big Ten this season and just shy of the Boilermakers’ all-time top five in the event. She’s the 65th Big Ten Champion in Purdue’s women’s history.

The Boilermakers picked up four more points on the women’s side as senior Mallory Peck and junior Brianna Neumann were part of a three-way tie for sixth place in the pole vault, clearing the NCAA Regional standard of 3.85 meters (12-07.50).

Junior Lance Moe had a career day in the men’s decathlon, posting season bests in four events and personal records in three en route to 3,574 points and a No. 8 ranking at the halfway point of the event. He opened the day with a season-best time of 11.91 in the 100-meter dash, despite running into a slight headwind.

Moe followed with a huge PR in the long jump, bouncing 6.63 meters (21-09.00) to add 727 points, and his first career 12-meter toss (12.07m/39-07.25) in the shot put for 611 points. The high point came in the high jump where Moe cleared a career-best 2.13 meters (6-11.75) to rack up the highest single-event point total by any athlete with 925 points. He closed out the day with a time of 53.94 in the 400-meter dash, rounding out his day with 642 points.

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