EARLYSVILLE, VA. -- The Furman men's cross country team turned in a third-place finish, while the Paladin women placed fourth at the 2016 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships Friday at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va.. The Paladins will learn on Saturday if they will receive one of the thirteen at-large bids to the national championship meet, which will be held Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Furman men scored 105 points to finish third out of 29 teams. N.C. State won the region championship with 90 points, followed by Virginia in second with 105 points, each earning one of the two Southeast Region automatic bids to the NCAA Championships.
The Paladins were led by junior Frank Lara, who paced the team with a time of 29:08.2 on the 10K course to finish sixth and earn a spot on the all-region team. Junior Josh Brickell finished 15th with a time of 29:39.9, and red shirt-freshman Ryan Adams turned in a 24th place finish at 30:08.7. For their efforts, Brickell and Adams also earned all-region laurels.
Rookie Mason Coppi posted a time of 30:13.6 for 28th place, and freshman Jake Ogden was 33rd with a time of 30:17.4. Senior Matt Lange placed 60th at 30:56.3, while sophomore Quintin McKinnish recorded a time of 32:11.1 for 126th place.
The Paladin women's team scored a fourth-place finish out of 32 teams, concluding the meet just five points shy of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. N.C. State won the regional with 53 points, followed by Louisville with 163 points in second place to claim the region's automatic bids. Kentucky placed third with 164 points.
Furman also placed three women on the all-region team, including freshman Savannah Carnahan, who led the Paladins with a time of 20:53.4 on the 6K course to finish 15th. Freshman Emma Grace Hurley placed 20th with a time of 21:03.4, and senior Laura Miller turned in a time of 21:06.2 to place 23rd to join Carnahan on the all-region team.
Freshman Gabrielle Jennings posted a time of 21:31.5 for a 34th place finish, while rookie Jennifer Stephenson placed 80th at 22:10.7. Freshman Grace Dwyer crossed the line in 22:15.6 to place 85th, and rookie Riley Burr completed the Paladin slate of runners in 171st place at 23:33.4.
After the competing teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender will be selected to compete at the NCAA Championships. From those teams not selected in the above process, the top four finishers at each regional are automatically selected, but must have finished within the top 25 of the region. Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool (and must have finished in the regional top 25) as at-large individuals.
"I am not sure I have ever seen a program miss advancing to the NCAA Championships by any less," said Furman head coach Robert Gary following the race. "We knew redshirting several of our athletes would make it more difficult to qualify, but we left campus with 14 athletes, including nine freshmen, who had every intention of advancing. I have never liked when coaches said they couldn't be more proud of our program even if they advanced, but I know I speak for the whole program when I say that. What a tremendous group of competitors we have. We are going to be very, very good next year."
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Complete Furman Results
2016 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships
Men's 10K - 3rd out of 29 teams - 105 Points
6th Frank Lara 29:08.2
15th Josh Brickell 29:39.9
24th Ryan Adams 30:08.7
28th Mason Coppi 30:13.6
33rd Jake Ogden 30:17.4
60th Matt Lange 30:56.3
126th Quintin McKinnish 32:11.1
Women's 6K - 4th out of 32 teams - 168 Points
15th Savannah Carnahan 20:53.4
20th Emma Grace Hurley 21:03.4
23rd Laura Miller 21:06.2
34th Gabrielle Jennings 21:31.5
80th Jennifer Stephenson 22:10.7
85th Grace Dwyer 22:15.6
171st Riley Burr 23:33.4