Nov. 14, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue cross country team heads to the Great Lakes Regional meet on Friday morning, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. The men’s 10,000-meter race is scheduled for noon CT while the women’s 6,000-meter run will begin at 1:15.
“The championship portion of the season is always the focus when we being our preparations for each season,” said distance coach Dave Hartman. “We had great performances at the Big Ten Championships, so we are looking to carry that over into a great performance here at the regional.”
The men will be led by Big Ten runner-up Matthew McClintock. McClintock helped the Purdue men to their best finish at the conference meet since 1991, as the Boilermakers took sixth place with 163 points. Jake Waterman is coming off his best performance as a Boilermaker as he finished second for Purdue and 31st overall at the Big Ten Championships. Sophomore Caleb Kerr will look to better his Big Ten performance as he was fell during the conference championships and finished 42nd overall.
“We are hoping to battle on the men’s side for spot in the top five,” added Hartman. “If we are able to do that, we think we have a shot to advance to the NCAAs. Matt McClintock has a great opportunity to help out our team reach that goal and also to compete well as an individual and advance to nationals himself.”
Friday’s 10k will be the first of the season for Purdue. At last year’s regional, also in Madison, Wis., the men finished seventh overall, just one point out of sixth. McClintock qualified individually for the NCAA Championships after finishing eighth overall with a time of 30:57. Steven Stoot also competed for the men at the regional last season and is scheduled to run for Purdue on Friday.
On the women’s side, Brynn Olinger and Blair Doney have been Purdue’s top runners this season. The pair helped the Purdue women finished eighth at the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago, the programs best finish since 2007. Olinger was Purdue’s top runner for the first time in her young career. The freshman finished 42nd overall with a time of 22:05.9. Doney has finished first for Purdue in every other race this season. She finished 45th at the Big Ten Championships with a time of 22:13.6.
“For the women, we would like to improve on our finish from last year,” said Hartman. “Some of our ladies will have a shot at finishing All-Region and that’s definitely our goal.”
The Purdue women finished ninth at last year’s Great Lakes Regional. Dana Payonk is the top returning finisher from that squad as she finished third for Purdue and 57th overall with a time of 21:39. Blair Doney, Sharise Lund and Laura Maibuecher also ran in last year’s meet and are scheduled to compete on Friday.