The Bahamian hurdle and sprint duo of Devynne Charlton and Carmiesha Cox kicked off their Purdue Boilermakers indoor season on Saturday as they competed in the 2017 Hoosier Open at the Gladstein Fieldhouse at Indiana University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Charlton, a red-shirt senior competing unattached, clocked 8.09 seconds for second in the final of the women’s 60 metre hurdles behind University of Kentucky’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who won in 8.04.
The times are now recorded as the two fastest so far in the United States for the indoor season.
Coming out of the preliminaries, Charlton had the fastest qualifying time of 8.18 in winning the last of three heats, just ahead of Camacho-Quinn, the winner of heat two in 8.20.
She also was 14th overall after placing fifth in the second of four heats of the women’s 300m in 39.48.
Cox, competing in the women’s 60m, was third in the first of three heats in 7.65 seconds, but it was only good enough for ninth overall as she failed to get into the final.
And Cox ran the second leg of Purdue’s 4 x 400m relay team that won in 3:39.37. They won by 5.5 seconds over Tennessee to break the meet record and is now the eighth best ranked time in Purdue’s history.
Purdue’s head coach Lonnie Greene said the performances of the two Bahamian standouts is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Devynne won’t be eligible for the indoors for us, so we are just trying to get her ready to compete at the World Indoor Championships,” said Greene, one of two Bahamians on the coaching staff.
Greene, who is assisted by Norbert Elliott and his American wife Angela, said Charlton proved that she’s right on target for the trip to Birmingham, Great Britain, March 2-4.
“She’s looking good. I think by the time the World Indoors come around, she will be geared up and ready to compete. We can expect some big things from her next year.”
Once she’s done with the indoor season, Greene said they would then prepare Charlton to complete her eligibility in the outdoor season.
“We’re looking forward to her running some fantastic times next year,” Greene projected. “If she can run in the 7.20s that could equal to about 12.60 or better.”
Charlton, 22, holds the national indoor record at 7.93 in the 60m hurdles, but the outdoor mark is held by her archrival Pedrya Seymour, a 22-year-old red shirt junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has ran 12.64. Charlton’s best time outdoor is 12.74.
As for 22-year-old Cox, Greene said she’s in the reverse position as once her indoor season is complete, she’s done and then the focus will be on getting her ready for the international meets for the Bahamas, including the Commonwealth Games April 8-15 in the Gold Coast, Australia, the Central American and Caribbean Games July 20 to August 3 in Barranquilla, Colombia and the NACAC Senior Championships, August 10-12 in Toronto, Canada.
“She’s off to a great start for us, having ran the 300m and a super leg on our mile relay team,” Greene said. “So I’m also expecting some really big things from her next year.”
Both Charlton and Cox are coming off their appearances for the Bahamas at the IAAF World Championships in London, England, in August.
The Boilermakers will now take a break for the Christmas holiday until Saturday, January 13 when they host their Gene Edmonds Open.
Two other Bahamians are on the Boilermakers’ roster, but Greene said sprinter Keanu Pennerman, a junior and quarter-miler Kinard Rolle, a redshirt junior, would not start competing until next year.