Oct. 28, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's and women's cross country teams are ready to head to the biggest meet of the season thus far, the Big Ten Cross Country Championships hosted by the University of Illinois.
The Big Ten Championships are set for Sunday in Urbana, Ill., at the University of Illinois Arboretum. The women's 6K race is slated first, a 10:45 a.m. CT start, with the men's 8K to follow at 11:45. The race will air on the Big Ten Network on Nov. 11 at noon ET.
On the men's side, nine individuals will compete, seven of which competed in last year's race. Cale Allen, Stephen Schulz, and Charles White are among the upperclassmen racing. Ladd Mercer, Scott Lasiter, and Dominic DeSantis are also in that group while Brett Klosterhoff, Simon Rogers, and Robert Stewart round out the bunch. Wisconsin is the team to beat as the Badgers are currently ranked No. 2 in the country and have won 12 straight Big Ten Championships.
"I expect for us to compete to our fullest capability, run the race that we have prepared to run, be tough, and run for one another," assistant coach Jake Stewart said. "I expect the whole group to understand all the work that we have done leading up to this and to be confident in how we have prepared and run with a purpose. These guys came to Purdue University to run in the Big Ten Championships meet. We have a great opportunity on Sunday to show the work that we have put in."
On the women's side, eight individuals will compete for the Boilermakers. Stephanie Bonk, Dana Payonk, Kara Conflenti, and Kelly McCurdy have been some of the most consistent finishers among those competing for Purdue. Linsey Daluga, Blair Doney, Jennifer Hall, and Jenny Caddick also will represent the Old Gold and Black at the Big Ten Championships. Michigan State is the top ranked Big Ten team heading into the meet as it holds the No. 15 national ranking and also won last year's championships.
"I expect that we will have a solid performance from all eight of our women competing," assistant coach Sarah Haveman said. "We have been moving forward as a group and this will be another step in the right direction. We've had some solid workouts that are leaving the women feeling confident and ready to go this weekend. As always we are focusing on the things that we can control and turning in a strong performance."
Check out the tournament central page for up-to-date information about the race. That page can be found here. Also, a full recap and results can be found at PurdueSports.com following the race.