Nov. 1, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The Purdue Boilermakers are set to host the 2013 Big Ten Cross Country Championships at the Boilermaker Cross Country Course on Sunday morning. The men’s 8,000-meter race is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. ET while the women will follow at 11:45 with a 6,000-meter run.
Admission to the event is free while parking is $10 dollars in the lots adjacent to the course. A free shuttle for Purdue students will run continuously from Ford Dining Hall and Cordova Recreational Sports Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On the men’s side, Wisconsin has currently won a conference record 14-straight Big Ten Championships. Zach Mayhew of Indiana was the individual champion a year ago, though he graduated. The top returning finisher from last year’s race is Purdue’s Matthew McClintock. The then-freshman finished eighth a year ago and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
The Big Ten has three teams ranked in the polls. Wisconsin leads the way at No. 7 in the country. The Badgers are led by Rob Finnerty who was an All-Big Ten Performer last season. Michigan is No. 16 in the latest USTFCCCA poll that lists the top 30 teams nationwide. The Wolverines have two individuals who were All-Big Ten last season, Mark Beams and Morsi Rayyan. Indiana is the final ranked team in the conference as the Hoosiers are No. 24.
On the women’s side, Michigan won last year’s championships. Michigan State’s Sara Kroll, now a senior, won the individual title with a time of 20:13 on her home course, as the Spartans hosted a year ago. Shannon Osika of Michigan earned the Freshman of the Year award after finishing second-team All-Big Ten.
Six women’s teams are ranked in the latest USTFCCCA polls. Michigan State leads the way at No. 6, led by Kroll and Leah O’Connor, who earned All-Big Ten honors last season. Michigan is ranked No. 14 and led by Osika. Minnesota is No. 15 in the country. The Gophers are led by Laura Docherty who was second-team all-conference after finished top-10 at the Big Ten Championships.
Indiana is No. 21 in the country. Wisconsin comes in at No. 28. The Badgers are led by Gabrielle Anzalone who was a first team All-Big Ten selection after the 2012 Big Ten Championships. Penn State rounds out the nationally ranked teams as the Nittany Lions are No. 29. Rebekka Simko leads the team as she finished fifth at last year’s race.
The Boilermakers will look for their first individual Big Ten Champion in 70 years on the men’s side. Eddie Ericsson won the individual conference championship in 1943 when the race was four miles. Purdue has had the top overall finisher four times in program history. The team has won the title three times with the last also coming in 1943. The men finished ninth last season with 213 points.
On the women’s side, the Boilermakers seek their first conference title of any kind. Blair Doney leads the way while Sharise Lund, Brynn Olinger and Kristin Fritts look to be among the top contributors. The women finished 11th last season with 248 points.
For more information, including post-race results, check out the Championships Central page here.