WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The cross country teams head to Madison, Wisconsin, for another huge test as the Boilermakers will compete in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday. The meet, which will be run at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course, is slated to begin at noon ET with the women’s “B” 6,000-meter race, followed by the men’s “B” 8,000-meter race at 12:40. The women’s championship race will begin at 1:20 p.m., followed by the men’s championship race at 2.
Thirty-five teams are slated to compete on the men’s side and 33 for the women. Top ranked Northern Arizona is among the teams in the men’s field, as well as No. 3 Syracuse, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Southern Utah, No. 10 Furman, No. 11 Colorado State, No. 13 Iona, No. 14 Iowa State, No. 15 Boise State, No. 16 Illinois, No. 17 Michigan State, No. 18 Virginia, No. 20 UCLA, No. 21 Indiana, No. 23 Air Force, Nos. 25 Michigan and Portland, No. 28 Wisconsin, No. 29 Washington State and No. 30 Columbia.
On the women’s side, No. 3 New Mexico highlights the field. Among the other ranked teams in the field are No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 San Francisco, No. 7 North Carolina State, No. 8 Providence, No. 11 Washington, No. 13 Boise State, No. 14 Indiana, No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 18 Iowa State, No. 20 Minnesota, No. 21 Furman, Nos. 22 Utah and Georgetown, No. 27 Yale and No. 28 Virginia.
The Boilermakers are coming off their biggest test of the season two weeks ago at the Greater Louisville Classic. That field included several ranked teams, though not as many.
The men and women’s teams will be led by the usual suspects. Jaret Carpenter has been the top runner on the men’s side in both of his races, while Emma Benner has done the same for the women. Freshman Curt Eckstein has had a strong freshman season and been the No. 2 runner in both of his races for the men. He has a season best of 24:22.86 which came in Louisville, where he was the third fastest freshman overall. Jacob Hanawalt, Levi Taylor and Theo Burgwald will also compete Friday. The three were scorers in Louisville and helped the Boilermakers finish seventh at the meet. They all had similar times under 24:40.
The women’s team is competing in its second 6k of the season – the other being the home Indiana Intercollegiates. Grace Lachmund and Jenna Halderman were among the top three runners for Purdue at that race and finished with times just over 22:30. Alyssa Christoffer and Rachel Anderson were the other scores for Purdue at that race. Both will race Friday.
Friday’s action will be updated live on the live results link, available on the cross country schedule, as well as on Twitter @PurdueTrackXC. A full recap and interviews will be posted following the meet.