Sept. 29, 2012
CHICAGO - The Purdue cross country teams had a strong day at the 40th Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational. The men's team finished third with 68 points while the women took fifth with 137.
Matthew McClintock was the story of the day for Purdue, again. The freshman continued his stellar season with a top finish overall, the second in his three career races. McClintock finished the 8k, just the second time he's run that distance, in 24:32.That time edged an Iowa State runner by just one second for the win. That time topped his career best by 26 seconds.
Johnnie Guy and Caleb Kerr also had nice races. The freshmen finished seventh and eighth, respectively, with times of 24:52 and 24:53. Guy has finished second for the Boilermakers in all three races. Andy Mack was next to cross the line for the Boilermakers. The sophomore finished 21st. The final scorer for Purdue was Tate Schienbein. He finished 33rd.
"The trio of freshmen executed the plan well," assistant coach Dave Hartman said of McClintock, Guy, and Kerr. "They ran strong races especially in the second half. They were in the front pack the whole race. McClintock pulled away at the end and got the victory. The other two, Caleb and Johnnie, really stepped up which is very encouraging heading into the back end of the season."
The Boilermakers finished third behind Big Ten foe Wisconsin as well as Southern Illinois. The Badgers won the race with a combined score of 51 while the Salukis had 62.
"It bodes well for us with Wisconsin there," said Hartman. "They weren't full strength today, but it's very encouraging to compete with Wisconsin. It shows were going to be able to go into Big Tens and compete with the rest of conference and show we belong."
On the women's side, Blair Doney took the top overall spot. Doney took eighth place with a time of 17:48, 31 seconds after the first harrier crossed the line. The Boilermakers ran without Samantha Walkow for the first time this season. The senior had finished first the Boilermakers in both races prior to Saturday.
Kelly McCurdy made her first appearance of the season for Purdue. The senior ran a time of 17:55, good for 12th place. Her place did not count, though, as she ran unattached. Officially, Dana Payonk was the second finished for Purdue. She finished in 21st with a time of 18:11. Autumn Beachy was just behind her with a 22nd place finish and an identical time as Payonk. Laura Maibuecher was next to finish for Purdue. The freshman finished in 36th. Sharise Lund rounded out the scoring for Purdue with a 50th place finish.
The Boilermakers finished in fifth behind McMaster, Loyola-Chicago, Miami-Ohio, and Northwestern. Despite the fifth place finish, the Boilermakers finished just 32 points behind first.
"We were only 32 points out of first which in this big of a race is a very small amount," Hartman said. "I thought the ladies responded very well without Walkow out there. We didn't focus on her absence, but rather used it as an opportunity to step up. I thought the ladies did that. Fifth doesn't seem great on paper, but that doesn't show how well we ran and how close we were to the top of the pack. We were right in there with some of those teams and that is very encouraging, especially without Samantha."