One Purdue freshman track and field athlete is rewriting the program’s record book during her first year in America.
A Canadian native, Vanessa McLeod, now holds both indoor and outdoor program records in the 800m run. She broke the 7-year-old indoor record with a time of 2:07.70 at the SPIRE Division I Track and Field Invite on Feb. 9.
At the Sea Ray Relays on April 13, she ran a 2:06.36 to break the outdoor record from 2006.
“My goal going into the indoor season was to be able to run a 2:10,” McLeod said. “I remember telling (head coach Lonnie Greene) and he actually laughed at me because after the first meet he knew I could run faster than (a 2:10).”
Greene is confident with McLeod’s abilities, saying she can get down to a 2:04 or 2:03 this season.
But McLeod, a Toronto, Ontario native, said adjusting to college was a new experience coming from a different company.
“In the beginning of the year it was a big adjustment,” McLeod said. “Living by (myself) and not having anyone to cook and clean was new.”
Changes in training were an adjustment as well. McLeod said she used to do her workouts alone in high school and now she trains with the team.
“I think whether it’s living on my own or training with a group I’ve grown athletically and personally,” McLeod said.
For the remainder of the outdoor season, McLeod said she wants to run an even faster time.
“I really want to run a 2:05 just to secure my spot (in NCAAs),” McLeod said.
The Boilermakers will host the Dave Rankin Invitational on April 19-20 at the Rankin Outdoor Track and Field Complex. It is their only home meet. Selected distance runners will be competing as well in Los Angeles at the Mt. SAC Relays.