Benner, Carpenter Qualify for NCAAs
Nov. 12, 2016



WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Emma Benner and Jaret Carpenter are headed to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, the NCAA announced Saturday. Benner and Carpenter, both freshmen, both finished seventh at the Great Lakes Regional in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday and earned automatic bids as individuals.

Benner, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, had to wait until today to see if she would qualify. That was because she was the fifth finisher among individuals not on an automatically qualifying team and just the top four are guaranteed to advance. Two other women’s teams from the region earned at-large bids, which pushed Benner into the top four among individuals on non-qualifying teams and gave her an NCAA Championships berth.

Carpenter knew he was in after Friday’s race. His seventh-place finish was the fourth fastest among individuals not on automatic qualifying teams. The race was Carpenter’s first at 10,000-meters of his career. He went toe to toe with the best runners in the Big Ten and finished ahead of multiple first team All-Big Ten performers and the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Benner and Carpenter were both the top freshman finisher in their race. The two bids make it two straight years for Purdue to have a man and woman qualify for the NCAA Championships. Last year, it was Matthew McClintock and Hope Schmelzle. The men have had at least one individual in the NCAA Championships for five straight years. Benner is the fifth woman in school history to qualify, joining Schmelzle, Lindsay Zinn (2005), Amber Ferner (2004) and Becky Cotta (1982). It is the first time the Boilermakers have had an individual at the NCAA Championships in back to back years since 2004 and 2005.

Benner is one of five freshman women in the country to individually qualify. She joins Anny Bothma of Coastal Carolina, Hannah Miller of SMU, Aubrey Roberts of Northwestern and Winny Koech of UTEP. Carpenter is one of five freshman men to qualify, joining Kenny Vasbiner of Columbia, Stanley Limo of Louisiana-Lafayette, Conor Lundy of Princeton and Andrew Marston of Villanova.

Benner and Carpenter were the only freshman pair in the country to individually qualify.

The pair will head south to Terre Haute, Indiana, to compete in the national championships next Saturday. A full preview will be posted to PurdueSports.com prior to the meet.


 

 

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