TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO -- Furman freshman Grace Tinkey placed fifth as a member of the Team USA junior national cross country team at the 2014 North America, Central America, and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships Saturday in Trinidad and Tobago. Tinkey placed second among Team USA's competitors, recoring a time of 13:45.37 in the 4K event.
"Grace has been running great for the past couple of months, so I knew she had a great race in her," said Furman coach Rita Gary following the event. "To score so high in an international competition is a major accomplishment. I hope that this will be the first of many Team USA opportunities for Grace, and I'm excited to help her get there."
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. Last weekend she earned All-American status at the USA Junior Cross Country Championships, posting a fourth-place finish in the 6K on the Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder, Colo.
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.
Tinkey will compete with the Paladins at the SoCon Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C., on March 1-2.