Aug. 30, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue cross country teams kick off the 2012 season on Friday as the Boilermakers travel north to Valparaiso for the Crusader Open. The meet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. CT with the women’s 5k followed by the men’s 6k at 5:45 p.m.
The Boilermakers will travel 32 harriers to Friday’s meet including 22 individuals who will don the Old Gold and Black singlet for the first time in their careers. The women’s squad will have 13 fresh faces while the men will have nine. Two other fresh faces for the Boilermakers will be head coach Lonnie Greene and assistant coach Dave Hartman. Both joined the staff over the summer.
“We’re looking forward to Valparaiso on Friday night,” Hartman said. “It will give us a chance to gauge where we are at this point in the season. It is very early in the year so it’s too early to be excited about what we can accomplish, but this will be a great indicator of where we are now and what we can accomplish later on in the year.”
The women’s team will largely be led by Blair Doney and Dana Payonk. These two ladies competed in the Big Ten Championships and the Great Lakes Regional last season. Payonk finished with the top time of the two in both meets.
Sam Walkow will make her Purdue debut. The senior transferred to Purdue after last season from Lamar University where she earned a number of awards including Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and All-Conference honors. Four hometown runners will also compete for Purdue with two from Lafayette, Ind., and two from West Lafayette. Junior Linsey Daluga and sophomore Maria Paolillo both competed for the Boilermakers last season while sophomore Kelly Fields and freshman Taylor Jones will make their cross country debuts.
On the men’s side, sophomores Allan Appiah and Andy Mack are the only Boilermakers competing that were on the roster a year ago. Appiah ran in four races last season including the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic. Mack ran in five races in 2011 including helping Purdue win the Indiana Intercollegiates.
Matthew McClintock will run his first collegiate race on Friday. The Athens, Maine, native was the Gatorade Runner of the Year as a junior and senior in his home state. He also was named a Foot Locker Third Team All-American in his final high school senior.
“I want the team to go out there on Friday and run what they are capable of running,” said Hartman. “We want to see where we are right now and that’s what Friday is about for us. It will be a good indicator of what kind of potential we have in this group especially with such a young team.”
Four teams will compete in the Crusader Open. Purdue-Calumet, Notre Dame, and Valparaiso join the Boilermakers in the women’s 5k and men’s 6k. Complete results and a recap can be found at PurdueSports.com following the race.