In a meet where the men finished fourth and the women emerged victorious, two Boilermaker athletes showed up in a big way.
On Saturday, the Boilermakers traveled to the Notre Dame Invite where sophomore Devynne Charlton and junior Chukwuebuka Enekwechi set the pace.
Charlton, who impressed her coaching staff as a freshman, set the school record in both the 60-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. Her first final came in the 60-meter hurdles where she finished in a blistering 8.23 seconds. Not only was that .21 seconds ahead of the second-place runner, but it was also a full .10 seconds better than a seven-year old school record.
But Charlton was far from finished. A mere nine minutes after she won the hurdles, she lined up for the finals of the 60-meter dash. She won the event and beat the previous record, set in 1983 by Sybil Perry, by .02 seconds.
Head coach Lonnie Greene was thrilled with Charlton’s performance.
“(Charlton) has done an immaculate job for us since she was a freshman,” Greene said, “And now to break a 32-year old record in the 60 and in the 60 hurdles … that’s what you ask kids to do. You can’t ask for more … You have to tip your hat to her and say, ‘Well done.’”
Enekwechi also had a historic day. On his second attempt of four in the weight throw, he set personal and school records with a toss of 23.68 meters. But on his fourth throw, he launched a 24.04 meter throw, another personal and school record as well as the second-best mark in NCAA Division-I, behind Wisconsin’s Michael Lihrman.
Enekwechi has been breaking records at Purdue for years now and is one of the most consistent athletes under Greene.
“Chuck continues being Chuck; he’s a winner,” Greene said. “He’s one of those kids who gives you everything he has every single time. That’s something that’s intrinsic. You can coach and you can motivate and you can empower, but when you have an individual with that intrinsic knack to be great every time they step out into competition, you have someone special.”
The women’s 4x400-meter relay team also broke a school record when freshman Symone Black crossed the finish line and capped off a 3:38.71 performance. The team’s efforts earned them a victory in the event as well as school history.
Overall, Greene believes this is the best indoor event his team has had since he arrived at Purdue and is intrigued with their trajectory moving forward.
“I’ve had confidence in them from the beginning because of the caliber of kids that we were blessed to recruit to Purdue,” Greene said. “These young people are still getting better and that’s exciting. I’m excited for where we’re going heading toward (the) Big Ten Championships.”