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Buchalski Second, Tinkey Fourth At USA Junior Cross Country Championships

Allie Buchalski & Grace Tinkey
Allie Buchalski & Grace Tinkey

BOULDER, COLO. -- Freshmen Allie Buchalski and Grace Tinkey each earned All-American honors Saturday at the USA Junior Cross Country Championships at the Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder, Colo.  Buchalski placed second with a time of 22:05 on the 6K course, while Tinkey claimed fourth place after finishing in 22:12.

"This was a great honor for both Allie and Grace and a great indication of the potential of the Furman cross country program," said Furman coach Rita Gary.  "We will always prioritize Team USA Championships to help our athletes reach their potential in the sport.  Experience at every level gets you to the highest levels."

Buchalski, who led the Paladins as the team's top finisher in its last four cross country meets, competed as a member of Team USA at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge last month in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She earned a spot on the All-Southeast Region cross country team after placing tenth with a time of 20:43.4 on the 6K course at the 2013 NCAA Southeast Region Championships.

A native of Johns Creek, Ga., Buchalski was named the 2013 SoCon Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year after placing second with a time of 17:32.43 at the league championship meet and helping Furman to a conference title, its first since 2000.  For her efforts, Buchalski was also selected to the All-SoCon first team and the SoCon All-Freshman Team.  

Tinkey, who hails from Macon, Ga., registered a 16th-place finish with a time of 20:58.9 to earn All-Southeast Region accolades in November.  She placed third at the conference meet with a time of 17:33.76, joining Buchalski on both the All-SoCon first team and the SoCon All-Freshman Team, and was the Paladins' top finisher at the Furman Invitational on Sept. 14.

So far this indoor season, Tinkey set a meet record of 17:02.99 in the 5,000m at the Emory Crossplex Invitational, earning SoCon Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week honors, then claimed a new Furman record with a time of 9:33.36 in the 3,000m at the High Point Team Challenge.