WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s and women’s cross country teams are set for their toughest test of the season this Saturday, heading to Louisville, Ky., for the Greater Louisville Classic. Both the women’s 5K race and men’s 8K race will feature some of the top teams in the country and give the Boilermakers the chance the climb the Great Lakes Regional standings.
The Purdue women head into the weekend ranked 11th in the Great Lakes region, and are one of nine regionally ranked squads in the race. The host Cardinals are the top-ranked squad in the field, carrying the No. 5 spot in the Southeast region, followed closely by Kentucky, who’s sixth in the Southeast. Other tough competition will come from Vanderbilt (No. 7 – South), Western Kentucky (No. 8 – Southeast) and Missouri (No. 9 – Midwest), while Eastern Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State and Belmont round out the group.
The Boilermakers look for continued improvement out of the women’s squad after several career bests in their last outing, including a standout performance from freshman Camille Buscomb. She clocked the seventh-best time in school history at the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships, crossing the line third overall with a mark of 17:38.1.
Ample support will come from seniors Sarah Klaczynski and Kristin Phillips, who took second and third at the state championship meet and hold the team’s second and third fastest times of the season so far. Sophomores Stephanie Bonk, Kara Conflenti and Katie Conrad, and freshmen Linsey Daluga and Kelly McCurdy look for continued improvement, while rookie Alice Feslier Holmes is set to make her season debut on Saturday.
On the men’s side, Purdue holds the No. 13 spot in the Great Lakes region, and is set to face 11 other regionally ranked squads. Heading the list is Tennessee, who is ranked fifth in the South region, and Mississippi State, who’s No. 7 in the South. Several other members of the South region elite will be in attendance as well with Middle Tennessee State (ninth), Belmont (11th), East Tennessee State (13th) and Mississippi (14th) heading to Louisville.
The Cardinals are eighth in the Southeast along with ninth-ranked Eastern Kentucky, No. 11 Kentucky and No. 14 Davidson, while fellow Great Lakes competitor Central Michigan is right behind the Boilermakers at 14th.
The Boilermaker men will run a very similar lineup from the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships, led by junior Caden Shields and sophomore Simon Rogers. The pair both cracked the 26-minute mark for 8K as Shields turned in a collegiate-best mark of 25:12.2, while Rogers opened his Purdue career with a time of 25:58.2.
Sophomores Cale Allen, Ladd Mercer and Dominic DeSantis look to add their ample support, while Purdue newcomers Charles White, Stephen Schulz and Robert Stewart hope to continue their outstanding improvement after all cutting at least 40 seconds off their season-debut times at Indiana State.
Saturday’s action will kick off at 9:30 a.m., and results will be available at UofLSports.com and PurdueSports.com after the race.