WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The cross country teams are set to compete at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday at Indiana University. The Boilermakers look to improve up on their seventh places finish from a year ago. Sunday’s meet begins at the IU Championship Cross Country Course is set to begin at 10:45 a.m. ET with the men’s 8,000-meter race. The women’s 6,000-meter race will follow at 11:45.
The men’s team, which is receiving votes in the USTFCCCA National Poll, are the third ranked team in the Great Lakes Region. The men’s championship squad last competed at the Nuttycombe Invitational at Wisconsin and finished ahead of Big Ten foes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin at the meet. The Boilermakers are led by a pair of youngsters in sophomore Jaret Carpenter and freshman Curt Eckstein. Carpenter finished 16th at the meet a year ago. The pair have been Purdue’s top two all season. Behind them are the veterans, seniors Jeremy Craven and Levi Taylor. Craven was Purdue’s second finisher at the conference meet a year ago with a 31st-place finish.
Ben Anderson, Jacob Hanawalt and Matt Grider are also on the trip. The three scored at Big Tens last year, with Anderson finishing 34th to lead the group. Theo Burgwald and Cole Hester round out the travel group. Hester competed at Big Tens last year and took 64th.
On the women’s side, Emma Benner has led the team all season. Last year, she was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after placing seventh at the conference meet. This year, she’ll look to lead a group that includes seniors Grace Lachmund and Alyssa Christoffer. Lachmund was the Boilermakers’ fourth finisher at the conference meet last year with a 52nd-place finish. Also returning to the Big Ten Championships after competing at the meet a year ago are Mary Abramson, Jenna Halderman and Rachel Yuska. Abramson was the third finisher for the Boilermakers a year ago after placing 37th.
The women have two newcomers making the trip in Rachel Anderson and Megan Slamkowski. Slamkowski travels to the championships a week after winning the Illini Open. Gabrielle Broschard rounds out the travel group. The junior is back in action after missing last year’s meet with an injury.