A pair of Top 25 individual placers and a tie of the program 8K record highlighted a strong team finish for the Purdue University Calumet men’s cross country team at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships Saturday.
The Peregrines improved five places from their 2013 finish, taking fifth place Saturday at Wing Park Golf Course with 171 points.
Sophomore Alex Cordova (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) led the way with his 18th place finish, tying the school record in the 8K that teammate and cousin Salvador Cordova (Hammond, Ind./Bishop Noll) set back in October with a 26:31. Salvador wasn’t far behind, placing 19th with a 26:44, the fifth-best mark in program history.
In all, six Peregrine runners broke the 30 minute mark – a program first – as freshman Roger Jachna (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central), sophomore Justin Peterson (Grant Park, Ill.), and Fernando Pina (Hammond, Ind./Hammond) all set major personal-bests. Jachna (28:08) placed 56th out of the 132-runner field with a 27-second PR; Peterson (28:42) was 72nd with a 37-second PR, and Pina (29:35) broke his personal best by 38 seconds. Junior Michael Buckman (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) placed 97th (29:59) and senior teammate Stephen Bajzatt (Whiting, Ind./Whiting) was right behind in 98th with a 30:00, a PR by nine seconds.
Two other Peregrine runners set personal bests: senior Kenny Karrson (Lansing, Ill./T.F. South) with a 30:05 (100th) and freshman Arturo Ruiz (Hammond, Clark) with a 30:42 (106th).
Rounding out the Purdue Calumet lineup was freshman Cody Porter (East Chicago. Ind./Bishop Noll) in 121st (32:51) and sophomore Dustin Pluard (Munster, Ind./Iliana Christian) in 124th (33:57).
St. Francis (Ill.) grabbed the team qualifying spot for the NAIA national meet with its first-place finish (29 points), edging Olivet Nazarene (37 points). Calumet College of St. Joseph was third with 135 points.
The 2014 Purdue Calumet team shattered the record book this season, setting the individual 8K mark four times along with program-best finishes in team finishes and individual finishes (both Cordovas) at the CCAC Championships.