TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The 26th-ranked Furman men's cross country team placed fourth and the Paladin women finished 24th at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.
Forty-six men's teams and 43 women's teams, including eight men's teams and six women's teams ranked among the nation's top 30, competed in the Blue Race. Each team in the races held a regional ranking entering Saturday's competition.
"Today was definitely a big day for our program," said Paladin head coach Robert Gary. "When we first started at Furman, we asked a group of recruits to share our vision of building a national distance powerhouse program here. Watching our team leading at the 2k mark against the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the country is one of the snapshots that everyone envisions."
Top-ranked Colorado won the men's 8K meet with 38 points, and second-ranked Oregon finished second with 88 points. Georgetown placed third with 143 points, followed by the Paladins with 257 points.
Senior Tripp Hurt paced the Paladins, finishing 41st with a time of 24:56.8, while freshman Aaron Templeton was just behind Hurt, placing 43rd at 24:57.8. Rookie Mark Hadley turned in a time of 25:04.7 for 50th place, and sophomore Tanner Hinkle was 63rd with a time of 25:13.6. Rookie Frank Lara finished just behind Hinkle, placing 65th at 25:13.8, and just ahead of sophomore Troy Reeder who crossed the line in 25:15.2 to place 68th. Freshman Austin Sprague completed the Furman slate with a time of 25:55.7 for 169th place.
Fourth-ranked Georgetown claimed the women's 6K title with 110 points over No. 3 Oregon, who placed second with 139 points. Top-ranked Michigan finished third with 143 points, and No. 7 Colorado took fourth place with 186 points. The Paladin women scored 633 points for 24th place.
"Today's race marked the first time at this meet for our women's program, and it's an extremely unique and competitive environment," said Gary. "The women's team should take comfort in and be excited by the fact the men were 30th at this meet last year and developed to fourth this season."
Sophomore Allie Buchalski led the Paladin women, turning in a time of 21:42.9 for 60th place, and senior Sinead Haughey finished 65th at 21:45.4. Sophomore Grace Tinkey placed 117th with a time of 22:12.8, while fellow sophomore Laura Miller crossed the line in 22:35.6 for 180th place. Sophomore Julia Rodriguez placed 211th with a time of 22:49.9, followed immediately by freshman Emma Mashburn in 212th place (22:50.8). Sophomore Bryce Seymour finished 220th with a time of 22:56.3.
Following an off weekend next weekend, the Paladins will compete at the Southern Conference Championships on Oct. 31 in Greensboro, N.C.
"Championship season has now started, and we are very excited to defend our SoCon title and attempting to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history," added Gary.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Furman Individual Results
41 Tripp Hurt 24:56.8
43 Aaron Templeton 24:57.8
50 Mark Hadley 25:04.7
63 Tanner Hinkle 25:13.6
65 Frank Lara 25:13.8
68 Troy Reeder 25:15.2
169 Austin Sprague 25:55.7
60 Allie Buchalski 21:42.9
65 Sinead Haughey 21:45.4
117 Grace Tinkey 22:12.8
180 Laura Miller 22:35.6
211 Julia Rodriguez 22:49.9
212 Emma Mashburn 22:50.8
220 Bryce Seymour 22:56.3