Aug 29, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue cross country teams kick off the 2013 season with a trip to Dexter, Mich., for the Michigan Open on Friday. The Boilermakers will take on the Wolverines in an unscored, two-team meet at the Hudson Mills Metro Park.
“We are looking forward to getting this season started with the Michigan Open,” Purdue distance coach Dave Hartman said. “This meet will provide an opportunity for our athletes to stretch their legs out a little bit as we have been doing a lot of heavy work the last few weeks. The short, five kilometer race will shake some of the rust out.”
The men and women will both run a 5k. The men’s race is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET while the women’s race will follow at 10:30.
The men have 14 student-athletes scheduled to compete led by Caleb Kerr. Kerr, a sophomore, competed in six races last season including the Big Ten and Regional meets and also had a pair of top 10s for the year. The Boilermakers also welcome back a talented duo that did not compete in 2012 with Brett Klosterhoff and Stephen Schulz. Schulz competed in five races in 2011 with a season-best finish at the IPFW Invitational where he finished second.
The men also break in a pair of freshmen as Ben Eaton and Daniel Williams get their first taste of collegiate cross country. Eaton was an all-state selection in Illinois for high school and had a PR in the 3200m of 9:10.76. Sophomores Matthew McClintock and Tate Schienbein will make the trip, but will not compete. Both recently returned from Columbia where they competed in the Pan-American Junior Games. McClintock took gold in the 10k while Schienbein competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
On the women’s side, 17 student-athletes will make the trip. Blair Doney, Dana Payonk, and Autumn Beachy are among the team leaders. Doney competed in six races last season with a best 5k time of 17:48 at the Sean Earl Invite. She finished eighth in that race. Payonk also ran in six races last season with a best 5k time of 18:06.9 at the Indiana Intercollegiates. Beachy’s best 5k time was 18:11 in 2012.
The women have four newcomers scheduled to compete. Brynn Olinger, Hope Schmelzle, Cailey Daluga and Kiara McIntosh begin their Purdue careers on Friday. Schmelzle was a high school standout in the mile and capped her career with an eighth place finish at the Illinois state meet. Daluga is the younger sister of Linsey Daluga who will also be competing this weekend. Both competed for West Lafayette High School.
“Our focus remains on the Big Ten Championships and NCAA competition, so we have to be smart out there,” said Hartman. “We have looked solid in workouts and we had a few returners who really put the work in the summer. They have shown great improvement as have our veterans who took care of their business in the offseason. We have some talented freshmen that have the ability to help us out as the season progresses. Overall, we are looking forward to making some great improvements and to continue to move the program in the right direction.”
Full results will be available on PurdueSports.com following the completion of Friday’s races.