02/10/2022 Track and field, Brady Yoder

Freshman distance runner Brady Yoder placed sixth in the Meyo Invite on Feb. 4 and 5.

Purdue track and field underclassmen will try, yet again, to place highly in a variety of events this weekend, just as they did in last weekend’s Meyo Invitational in South Bend.

The Purdue men’s and women’s track and field teams will travel to the Gately Indoor Track and Field in Chicago, Illinois, for the Windy City Invitational. This meet will feature an assortment of Big Ten foes, including Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin, as well as some other tough opponents like Arizona, Howard, Oregon, South Florida and Tulsa.

Oregon comes into this meet as the No. 2 team in the country and first in the Pac-12 Conference. In the team’s last meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, star fifth-year distance runner Jack Yearian came into the top 10 in Oregon program history in the 3000-meter event, with a time of 7:51.05, according to Oregon Athletics. Redshirt freshman thrower Jaida Ross broke into the No. 6 spot in program history in the shot put, with a throwing distance of 15.89 meters.

Arizona brings a talented group of young throwers to this meet. In their last meet against No. 17 Northern Arizona, sophomore thrower Mackenna Orie won the shot put event and achieved a new personal record, with a distance of 15.98 meters, according to Arizona Athletics. Sophomore thrower Youssef Koudssi also won the men’s shot put event and achieved a new PR.

Michigan comes in at No. 23 and has many distance runners that will really challenge Purdue. In the Meyo Invitational, sophomore distance runner Michael Hancock finished 7th overall in the 3000-meter race, with a time of 8:24.84, according to Michigan Athletics. Senior distance runner Anthony DeKraker placed 20th in the mile race, with a time of 4:12.24.

Purdue will be challenged, especially in distance running and throwing, by outstanding talents in this meet and will look to be at their best in order to win their respective events.

Five Boilermakers achieved new personal bests in the Meyo Invitational, and Purdue looked to build on its strong performances in both distance running and throwing.

Sophomore distance runner Caleb Williams won first place in the men’s 3000-meter race and set a new personal record of 8:21.22 seconds in last weekend’s meet, according to Purdue Athletics. Freshman distance runner Brady Yoder placed sixth in the same event, with a time of 8:24.84 seconds.

Williams redshirted his freshman year, but came onto the team this year as a two-time all-state cross country honoree in Indiana in 2019.

Yoder is a two-time North Dakota Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year, as well as a state record holder. He owns the third-fastest 3,200 time and the seventh-fastest 1,600 time ever in North Dakota.

On the women’s team, freshman jumper Anne Busse placed 11th in the pole vault when she cleared 3.63 meters. Junior sprinter and hurdler Annamaria Leszczynska placed 13th in the 400-meter dash, with a time of 56.56 seconds. Senior thrower Amaya King also placed 23rd in the shot put.

Busse, a star pole vaulter in high school, won a conference and sectional championship while also breaking her school’s pole vaulting record with a mark of 12-feet-3-inches in 2021.

King has also had noteworthy throwing performances on the team, attaining the fourth-best shot putting distance in Purdue program history, with a distance of 15.89 meters in February 2021.

Graduate student thrower Kelly Cook Jr. earned the seventh-best mark in Purdue program history in the 35-pound weight throw event, with a distance of 20.50 meters.

Cook Jr., a graduate transfer from the College of William and Mary, won the 2021 Colonial Athletic Association field athlete of the year award, as well as two conference titles in the NCAA championships, with winning distances of 16.77 meters in shot put and 63.16 meters in the hammer throw.

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