CHARLES ADAMS III
Purdue athletes set 19 personal records at the Boilermaker Invitational this past Saturday.
Coach Jack Warner said he was pleased with the team’s performance considering the fact that he chose not to run some of his best athletes, including senior Leah Eber, in the meet that included Valparaiso, IPFW, Illinois State and others.
“That’s what was so impressive with all of our (personal records),” Warner said. “We didn’t run a lot of our kids.”
Warner said he was impressed by the performances of sophomores Dani Bunch and Brandon Winters.
Bunch set personal records in both the weight throw and shot put events with throws of 20.15 meters and 16.09 meters, respectively. She finished first in the weight throw and second in shot put.
“For the weight throw, it was a seasonal PR because I had done previously better last year,” Bunch said. “In shot put, I have a lifetime PR.”
Bunch took special notice of Illinois State athlete Brittany Smith, who won first in women’s shot put with a throw of 16.97 meters.
“Brittany Smith is someone who I’ll be seeing hopefully at nationals if I get into the top 16 ranking,” Bunch said.
On the men’s side, Brandon Winters said he really pushed himself. To help with that, one of the team’s graduated athletes, Josh Hembrough, came back and ran alongside him. Winters finished first in the 60-meter high hurdles event with a time 7.97 seconds.
“He competed unattached, and it was really tough because he was pushing me all the way,” Winters said. “I love the feel of competition. At the same time, I still have to run my race. It’s just something for me mentally.”
Warner said he was proud of his athletes, and that he didn’t see many errors that needed to be corrected.
“I just think we need a little bit of rest,” Warner said. “We have a few kids that got pretty banged up out there. We just need to get those minds ready. Physical training’s done. It’s all mental now.”
Warner said he wants his athletes to get their minds ready as they prepare for the Big Ten Indoor Championships, which will take place Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.