MADISON — Matt McClintock, a senior at Madison Area Memorial High School, has decided to continue his cross country career at Purdue University after a recent visit to the Indiana campus.

“I got out there, and I really liked the coach (Jake Stewart),” McClintock said. “I think with his coaching, I have the best shot of making the Olympics in 2016. This year, it became obvious I could do it if I work hard.”

McClintock said he liked how close-knit the Purdue men’s cross country team is. Ten of the 16 team members live in a house together off campus, and he immediately felt a connection to Stewart.

“I thought he’d really get me fired up,” McClintock said.

McClintock originally planned to continue his running career at Lock Haven University, a Division II school in Pennsylvania. A talk with Madison cross country coach Brandon Hagopian convinced McClintock he could compete at the Division I level.

“I’m very proud of him,” Hagopian said. “We’ve never, as far back as I know, had anyone from Madison go to a Division I (school) like the Big Ten.”

McClintock earned All-America honors by placing 15th at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego last month.

McClintock won three consecutive Class C state cross country titles. This fall, he ran the fastest time in the state on state championship Saturday, regardless of class, for the second straight year, winning with a time of 15 minutes 52.92 seconds at Twin Brooks in Cumberland.

McClintock also placed third in the New England Championships and sixth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals.

Hagopian said he expects McClintock to compete for a spot on Purdue’s traveling roster immediately.

“I think he’ll be very competitive. I don’t think they’ll redshirt him at all,” Hagopian said.

Added McClintock: “Coach Stewart thought I’d be able to help right away, and be one of his four through seven guys as a freshman.”

McClintock plans on studying secondary education.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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