Purdue Track Helps Win Conference Clash At SEC/Big Ten Challenge

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Purdue men’s and women’s track and field teams helped the Big Ten Conference to respective victories on both the men’s and women’s sides over the Southeastern Conference at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge, hosted by Mississippi State University on Saturday. The women secured a 379-349 victory, while the men won by a score of 383-314.

The meet was scored conference against conference, with the top four finishers from each side scoring in every event. Points were awarded in a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 format for individual events, while just the top-two relays scored points for their conference those races. The Boilermakers were joined by Indiana, Illinois and Ohio State in competition, while the host Bulldogs, Mississippi, Auburn and Georgia represented the SEC.

The Boilermakers’ throws areas were especially productive, posting a few event victories and personal records and several outstanding marks. Junior Chris Anderson snapped his career best in the men’s javelin, tossing 60.25 meters (197-08) to finish second overall, while fellow junior Elaine Gilbert and freshman Emily Becker went 1-2 in the women’s javelin with marks of 35.78 meters (117-05) and 32.57 meters (106-10).

Classmate Terri Anderson was just seven centimeters shy of her personal record in the women’s discus, hurling it 52.92 meters (173-07) to take second place. She already owns the No. 2 mark all-time at Purdue and is less than a meter shy of the school record in the event.

Senior Bill Hardcastle had a solid all-around day in the men’s throws events, winning the shot put with a toss of 17.50 meters (57-05.00) and placing fourth in the shot put with a mark of 50.89 meters (166-11). Fellow senior Stacey Wannemacher was second in the women’s shot put with a season-opening toss of 16.13 meters (52-11.00), and was fourth in the hammer throw at 53.57 meters (175-09).

Junior Leah Eber accounted for 14 points in the women’s horizontal jumps, taking the long jump title with a mark of 6.04 meters (19-09.75) and placing fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 11.89 meters (39-00.25). Senior Chris Thoman won a jump off to lead a 1-3 Boilermaker finish in the men’s pole vault as he and freshman teammate Mitch Erickson both cleared 4.90 meters (16-00.75).

Fellow senior Chris Kirtz earned second in the men’s long jump, falling just an inch shy of his personal record with a jump of 7.29 meters (23-11.00). Purdue scored in both the men’s and women’s high jumps as sophomore Geoff Davis was fifth on the men’s side with a height of 2.08 meters (6-09.75) and senior Emily Breslin was seventh on the women’s at 1.72 meters (5-07.75).

On the track senior Shane Crawford turned in collegiate-best times in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, running 10.49 in the 100 to finish fifth and 21.99 in the 200 to place eighth. Freshman Brandon Winters was third in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, clocking his first collegiate time in the event in 14.39, and senior Jacob Palmer captured bronze in the 800-meter run as well, crossing the line in 1:53.48.

Freshman Stephen Schulz added a second-place performance in the men’s 3,000-meter run, completing the race in 8:31.67, just half a second behind the first-place finisher.

On the women’s side, the Boilermakers got personal-record efforts from juniors Elise Glass and Janan Graham in the 200-meter dash as they finished in 24.69 and 24.76, respectively, while the pair also edged out their collegiate bests in the 400-meter dash with marks of 57.10 and 57.36.

Freshman Taylor Morrison was right behind them in the 400 at 57.43. Sophomore Camille Buscomb offered up an 800-meter run time of 2:16.27, while junior Kyla Chapman was third in the 1,500-meter run at 4:34.91. Senior NaTasha Blair added four more points for the Big Ten in the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 1:02.10.

The Boilermakers open their outdoor home slate next weekend, hosting the Mike Poehlein Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Dave Rankin Track & Field. The meet opens Friday afternoon with the men’s and women’s hammer throws, while the rest of the meet will be conducted on Saturday.

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