WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Curt Eckstein was unanimously voted the Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year, the conference office announced Tuesday. The vote is done by the conference head coaches. Eckstein, from Oldenburg, Indiana, was the top freshman finisher and took 16th overall at the Big Ten Championships over the weekend.
Eckstein is just the second Boilermaker in school history to win the men’s cross country freshman award. He follows in the footsteps of Matthew McClintock, who earned the honor in 2012. McClintock would go on to win the Big Ten Championship his senior year with a conference record time in the championship 8,000-meter race.
Eckstein’s 16th place finish was second among Boilermakers at the race and came with a time of 24:38.0. Coincidentally, his 16th place finish is the second year in a row a Boilermaker freshman finished 16th at the Big Ten Championships, as now-sophomore Jaret Carpenter finished there a year ago. Carpenter took seventh at the meet this season and was named Purdue's Sportsmanship Award honoree.
Eckstein has been the No. 2 runner for the Boilermakers all season. He helped the men’s team finish fifth at Big Tens, the program’s highest placing at the meet since 1986. Just one of the Boilermakers’ five scorers is a senior.
Eckstein and the Boilermakers are back in action Friday, Nov. 10, at the Great Lakes Regional in Terre Haute, Indiana. That race will be the first at a distance of 10,000-meters.