Nov. 14, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Purdue junior Caden Shields finished 10th individually in the men's 10K race to lead the Boilermakers' men's and women's cross country teams at the 2009 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships, hosted by Indiana University on Saturday. The Purdue men finished 15th as a team, while the women bettered their No. 8 regional ranking, placing seventh as a team.
After finding himself in-and-out of the Purdue lineup all season with illness, Shields made a statement at the regional championships, placing 10th individually and leaving himself eligible to qualify for the NCAA Championships. He was just 19 seconds behind the regional champion, Jeff See of Ohio State, crossing the line in 31:22.20, and topping his previous career best for 10K by nearly a minute. The NCAA committee will meet this week to decided the 13 at-large teams from across the country, and after the individuals from those teams are removed from the results, the top four individuals earn automatic bids to nationals.
Sophomore Ladd Mercer was the next Boilermaker across the line, smashing his 10K career best by 1:35 to finish 67th overall, while freshmen Stephen Schulz and Robert Stewart were solid in their first collegiate 10K, finishing in 33:36.46 and 33:42.84, respectively. Sophomore Cale Allen rounded out the top-five in 33:52.26.
Wisconsin won the men's team title with just 62 points, while Michigan State was second (128) and See led Ohio State to third (144). Interstate rivals Indiana State and Butler took fourth and fifth in the team standings with 151 and 160 points.
On the women's side, the Boilermakers tallied 228 team points as freshman Buscomb turned in the top individual showing in 19th place. She ran the 6K race in 21:37.73, finishing 55 seconds behind the leader and remaining eligible for an NCAA individual bid. Sophomore Katie Conrad was the Boilermakers' No. 2 finisher, posting a time of 22:08.86 in 40th place, while senior Sarah Klaczynski took home the team's No. 3 spot in 22:16.87, good for 49th. Sophomore Stephanie Bonk finished in 22:21.19, taking 52, and senior Kristin Phillips capped the scoring in 68th place with a time of 22:33.92.
Notre Dame topped the team standings with 94 points, while Ohio State took second place with 102 points. The Big Ten accounted for second through fifth places in the team standings as the Buckeyes were followed in order by Michigan, Indiana and Michigan State. Michigan State's Emily Macleod was the individual champion, completing the course in 20:42.70.
Word on the Boilermakers' championship hopes result on the NCAA committee, which will release its full field later this week.