LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Jaret Carpenter ran the fastest 8,000-meter race of his career, while Emma Benner had the second fastest 5k of her career to pace the Boilermakers on Saturday at the Great Louisville Classic. Benner finished 17th in the women’s race, while Carpenter was 31st in the men’s race. The men’s team finished seventh in the loaded field, while the women were 15th.
Carpenter, a sophomore, entered the race with a career best 8k time of 25:01.3 from last year’s Pre-Nationals race. Saturday, his performance was better. He ran a time of 24:16.48. Freshman Curt Eckstein had his fastest race as a Boilermaker and was just behind Carpenter. He finished in 24:22.86. That time was 35th overall and third among freshmen in the race. The only other freshmen to finish ahead of him ran for No. 1 Northern Arizona and 12th-ranked Furman.
Jake Hanawalt and Levi Taylor were third and fourth, respectively, for Purdue. Hanawalt ran a time of 24:30.37 to take 42nd, while Taylor was 43rd with a time of 24:30.84. Hanawalt’s time was one minute, five seconds faster than any 8k he ran a year ago, while Taylor’s time was his fastest as a Boilermaker. Theo Burgwald rounded out the scoring for Purdue, finishing 56th overall. He crossed the finish line in 24:39.93. The time is one minute, 18 seconds better than any 8k in his career.
The Purdue men finished with 204 points to earn their seventh place finish. The team finished ahead of seventh-ranked Wisconsin. The six teams that finished ahead of the Boilermakers were No. 20 Middle Tennessee, who edged the Boilermakers by a single point, No. 19 Illinois, No. 26 Boise State, No. 24 Virginia Tech, No. 12 Furman and top-ranked Northern Arizona.
For the women, Benner ran a time of 16:59.97, the second time in her career under 17 minutes. Alyssa Christoffer was second for the Boilermakers and took 43rd overall. The senior finished with a time of 17:25.94. Her time is a 5k PR by 31 seconds. Grace Lachmund was third for Purdue and 90th overall. She finished with a time of 17:49.44. Her time is a nine-second PR. Jenna Halderman was the fourth Boilermaker to finish while Mary Abramson rounded out the scoring. Halderman was 140th with a time of 18:14.73, while Abramson was 151st with a time of 18:19.63. Halderman’s time is the second fastest of her career, while Abramson’s is her third fastest as a Boilermaker.
The women finished with 414 points to take 15th as a team.
The Boilermakers will be back in action Oct. 13 at the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin.