WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The cross country teams are back in action Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic. The meet will be the toughest test to date of the young season, as the field of 36 teams on the men’s side includes top ranked Northern Arizona as well as No. 7 Wisconsin. The men’s 8,000-meter race is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The women’s 5k will follow at 10:15. The Boilermakers are among 42 teams competing in the women’s field, which includes No. 13 Boise State.
The course is also the site of the 2017 NCAA Championships, which will be held in November.
Emma Benner and Jaret Carpenter lead the women and men’s sides, respectively, into the race. Both won their season opener at the Indiana Intercollegiates two weeks ago, with Benner earning the Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week award afterwards. Curt Eckstein will also be among the top Boilermakers in the men’s field after finishing runner-up in his collegiate debut.
Grace Lachmund and Jenna Halderman are back in action after finishing second and third, respectively, among Purdue runners at the Indiana Intercollegiates. Alyssa Christoffer and Rachel Anderson will also be in the mix to score, as both did two weeks ago. For Benner and Lachmund, it will be their first 5k of the year after opening with the 6k at home. Nine women will make the trip.
On the men’s side, Jeremy Craven and Matt Grider were the third and fourth scorers for the Boilermakers at Indiana Intercollegiates. Grider was also the top finisher at the season-opening Crusader Invitational. Levi Taylor and Jake Hanawalt will also be guys in the mix for Purdue among a group of 10 traveling Boilermakers.
Saturday’s action also includes open races. The men’s 8k is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. with the women’s 5k to follow at 11:30.