-- Purdue Track & Field (@PurdueTrackXC) November 10, 2017
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The men's cross country team earned its highest Great Lakes Regional finish in more than 20 years, as the Boilermakers finished fifth at Friday's race. The women's team, led by sophomore Emma Benner's 14th-place finish, finished 10th overall.
"We gave a tough effort today," assistant coach John Oliver said. "Everyone put their best foot forward and got after it. We have some things we can continue to work on and get better at, but I'm happy with the effort. We are always looking to get better and we hope this is the start. I really appreciate the seniors who all bought in and got after it. As we get better from here, it will be a lot because of the seniors for their effort and being great leaders."
Sophomore Jaret Carpenter paced the men's team, as he's done all season. He earned a ninth-place finish with a 10,000-meter time of 31:09.2. Carpenter was the fifth individual finisher among runners not on a team that automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships -- Michigan and Michigan State -- meaning he will have to wait until Saturday to see if he earns at at-large berth. He earned all-region honors.
Big Ten Freshman of the Year Curt Eckstein also earned all-region honors after placing 15th at the meet. In his first career 10,000-meter race, Eckstein ran a time of 31:23.8 and was the second fastest freshman overall. Jeremy Craven was third finish for the Boilermakers and took 30th overall. He crossed the line with a time of 31:50.4. That finish is four spots better than where he placed last year and the best of his career.
Theo Burgwald was Purdue's fourth scorer in his first career regional race. The sophomore ran a time of 31:57.7 to take 37th overall. Levi Taylor rounded out the scoring with a 45th place finish time of 32:02.4. It was his first regional race as a Boilermaker.
The men's team finished with 136 points. The team improved upon its sixth place finish from last year when the Boilermakers finished with 173 points. This year's point total is the best by a Purdue team in more than two decades.
On the women's side, Benner earned all-region honors with her 14th place finish. She ran a time of 20:54.8. She was fourth among underclassmen (freshmen or sophomores) at the meet. It is the second year in a row Benner has earned all-region honors. She will have to wait until Saturday to see if she earns an at-large berth in the NCAA Championships.
Grace Lachmund took second for the women with a 52nd place finish. She crossed the line in 21:24.9. Her finish is eight spots better than her finish at the same meet a year ago and the best of her career. Mary Abramson was the third scorer for Purdue and finished 79th overall. She finished with a time of 22:07.6. Jenna Halderman finished 86th with a time of 22:12.9 and was Purdue's fourth scorer on the day. Gabrielle Broschard rounded out the scoring with a 91st place finish. She crossed the line in 22:18.9.
The women finished with 319 points.
All selections for the NCAA Championships will be announced Saturday.