TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue men's cross country team secured its best team finish since 1950 with an 11th-place 338-point performance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
The result marked Purdue's best performance at the championships since the format grew from nine to its current 31 teams.
Leading the Boilermakers were senior Jaret Carpenter and sophomore Curt Eckstein, who not only placed along the top-25, but also received All-America honors for their performances.
Carpenter, entering the race with a fifth-place finish as the Great Lakes Regional, secured 10th at nationals, a dramatic improvement since he placed 119th at the meet a year ago. In the senior's final 2,000-meters, Carpenter emptied the tank to climb two spots and clock in at 30:58.7. His finish was the highest by a Boilermaker in the national championships since 1949.
Meanwhile, Eckstein placed 24th with a time of 31:11.2, made possible after significant strides through the first 5,000-meters. After first checking in as 39th at the 3k, Eckstein rose 12 spots to 27th by the 5k and another two by the 8k marker.
Tyler Bowling was the third Boilermaker to cross the finish line. Despite checking in as low as 117th-place through the first 5,000-meters, the sophomore jumped 27 spots between the 5k and 8k to propel him to a time of 31:56.5 and a 94th-place finish.
Bailey McIntire followed with a time of 32:09.5 (125th-place) while Brody Smith was clocked at 32:23.7 (156th-place). Kyle Griffith cracked the top-200, earning 199th-place with a time of 33:00.9 and Alec Flemming rounded out the Boilermakers with a time of 33:44.1 (226th-place).
With the day's results, the men close out a historic season that saw its first Great Lakes Regional title, its first Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year award and its highest USTFCCCA national poll ranking in program history in addition to its NCAA Championships success