After an impressive run to the National Championships in Oregon last season, the track and field team is looking to continue its success.
This Saturday, the Boilermakers head to Bloomington, Ind. for a dual matchup with Indiana University. The meet is just the third of Purdue’s season, but already the team is showing signs of improvement from last season. For example, in the team’s first meet this season, junior thrower Chukwuebuka Enekwechi had a throw that was longer than any other in school history, besides his own personal best.
Head coach Lonnie Greene, in just his third season, sees little things being the source of the program’s improvement. Over the course of winter break, Greene made it clear to his athletes that he did not want them to get lax. Much to Greene’s delight, his athletes heard his call and are well prepared for their matchup with the Hoosiers because they kept themselves accountable for their fitness.
“They did a very, very good job of staying fit,” Greene said. “Those who didn’t have a facility, they got back to West Lafayette so they could use our facilities and stay in shape on their own time. We had our home opener and they all competed very, very well. We’re so far ahead of where we were last year at this time; it’s like night and day.”
The goal for this year’s team is to win the Big Ten championship, and although everyone would like for Greene and Co. to deliver a national title, he believes that would be “putting the cart before the horse.”
“Eventually (winning a national title will) be one of our goals, but I think my first objective as the coach at Purdue University is to win our league,” Greene said. “ ... My goal is to get us to a point where we are competitive in the Big Ten and we can be relevant on the national level. Once we achieve that, my focus as the director of the program would to be to get us to a national championship.”
The Boilers take on IU Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.