Oct. 18, 2008
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's and women's cross country teams got a look at the 2008 NCAA Championships course on Saturday, running in the Pre-National Invitational hosted by Indiana State University. The women placed 28th in the White 6K race, while the men finished 39th in the White 8K contest.
The Boilermakers were 28th in the field of 39 in the White division of the women's field with 654 points, racing at 6K for the first time this season. Purdue held true to its No. 7 NCAA Great Lakes Regional ranking, finishing behind the No. 2 Michigan, No. 4 Notre Dame and sixth-ranked Akron, but ahead of eighth-ranked Cincinnati, No. 13 Dayton and No. 15 Ohio State. Junior Katie Morrical was the Boilermakers' top finisher for the first time this season, finishing 24th overall and just missing her career-best 6K time at 20:58.2. She was the fifth Big Ten finisher in the race and remains one of two runners in Purdue's history to eclipse the 21-minute mark at 6K (the other was Amber Ferner in 2004).
Fellow junior Kristin Phillips was the next Boilermaker to cross the line, coming in at 21:42.8, while sophomore Kristina Krasich came in at 22:39.1. Junior Danielle Eagan and senior Lynn Marsh completed the Purdue scoring, posting respective times of 22:42.7 and 22:46.8. Freshman Stephanie Bonk was just behind Marsh, finishing her first collegiate 6K in 22:47.0.
"Katie (Morrical) gave a great effort today," said Purdue head coach Jack Warner. "She definitely showed that she has a great chance to make the NCAA Championships this year."
The Purdue men came home 39th in the White 8K race, led by rookie Cale Allen's time of 25:52.7. Sophomore Chase Kaufman ran a solid race, finishing in 26:05.4, while classmate Robert Shiflett crossed the line in 26:21.2. Freshman Ladd Mercer ran a good race, clocking at time of 26:25.2, and classmate Stephen O'Donnell completed the Boilermakers' scoring in 26:33.7.
More importantly, one of the Old Gold and Black's top runners made his season debut as junior Caden Shields competed in the men's open 8K race. Shields turned in the Boilermakers' top 8K time of the day, completing the course in 25:47.8.
The Boilermakers head into the postseason in two weeks as they head to Ann Arbor, Mich. for the 2008 Big Ten Championships, hosted by the University of Michigan.