JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- Paladin senior Tripp Hurt broke his own school record and advanced to the NCAA semifinal race after placing second in his heat and ninth overall with a time of 8:41.63 in the 3,000m Steeplechase Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla. The top three finishers in each heat plus the next three best times advanced to the semifinals, which will be held in Eugene, Ore., June 10-13.
A senior from Bogart, Ga., Hurt qualified for the regional meet in the event after recording a time of 8:47.76 at the Virginia Challenge last month. Last season, he finished 20th with a time of 8:57.27 in the 3,000m Steeplechase national semifinals after placing sixth with a time of 8:44.28, the previous Paladin record, in the event at the NCAA East Regional.
Hurt, the 2015 Furman Male Athlete of the Year, was named the SoCon Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year after winning the individual title and leading the Paladins to their second-straight conference team championship. He was also named the SoCon Men's Indoor Track Most Outstanding Athlete and Most Outstanding Performer after winning the league title in both the 3,000m and 5,000m in February. The first Furman men's runner to earn All-SoCon honors four-consecutive years for cross country, Hurt helped the Paladins to a second-place finish at the NCAA regional cross country meet, where he led the team with an eighth place finish to earn all-region honors.
Allie Buchalski, a redshirt freshman from Johns Creek, Ga., competed in the women's 3,000m Steeplechase on Friday, turning in a time of 10:30.32 to place 40th in the event. Buchalski holds the Furman record of 10:13.10 in the event, which she set at the Stanford Invitational in April.
Hurt will join Paladin senior Sinead Haughey, who placed seventh with a time of 34:05.80 in the 10,000m Thursday, in competing at the meet in Eugene.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information