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Gear & Jennings Advance To NCAA Championship In 3,000m Steeplechase

Emma Grace Hurley, Gabrielle Jennings, & Kristlin Gear
Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Camarati
Emma Grace Hurley, Gabrielle Jennings, & Kristlin Gear Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Camarati

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Freshman Kristlin Gear and sophomore Gabrielle Jennings advanced to the NCAA Championship following the quarterfinals of the women's 3,000m Steeplechase Friday in the second day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships East Preliminaries, which are being hosted by the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, May 24-26, in Tampa, Fla.

A native of Fort Meyers, Fla., Gear passed two runners on the final lap, placing third in her heat with a school-record time of 9:52.71 to advance automatically to the semifinals, which will be held June 7 in Eugene, Ore.  She entered the event ranked 19th in the East with a time of 10:12.72, which she set at the Raleigh Relays.  Jennings, who hails from Sidell, La., finished fourth in her heat with a time of 10:02.67, a school record which was eclipsed just minutes later by Gear, and qualified in ninth-place.  Jennings, who placed 18th in the event at last year's NCAA East Preliminaries, entered the event with the 16th-best time in the East in 2018. 

Emma Grace Hurley, a sophomore from Roswell, Ga., finished sixth in her heat and 23rd overall with a time of 10:18.97 on Friday.  She entered the event holding the Paladin record of 10:06.35, the ninth-best time in the East this season, which she set at the Raleigh Relays.

Senior Troy Reeder, a native of Fishers, Ind., recorded a time of 9:10.20 to take ninth in his heat and 34th overall in the men's 3,000m Steeplechase on Friday.  He entered the event with the ninth-best in the East in the event, 8:51.32, which he posted at the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 3.  His personal-best time of 8:36.51, which he set at the NCAAs in 2016, is a Furman record.  

The meet will conclude on Saturday, with Furman competing in the women's and men's 5,000m.  The women's 5,000m semifinal will begin at 8:05 p.m., followed by the men's race at 8:45 p.m.  

On the men's side, senior Aaron Templeton, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., notched a time of 14:03.74, the 27th best time in the East, in the 5,000m at the Virginia Challenge to qualify for the prelims, while sophomore Mason Coppi, who hails from Dana Point, Calif., qualified for the event after crossing the line in 14:10.31, which ranks 40th, at the Raleigh Relays.  He finished 22nd in the event at last year's NCAA East prelims. 

For the women, senior Allie Buchalski, who hails from Johns Creek, Ga., ranks second in the East with a time of 15:39.17 in the 5,000m, which she recorded at the Virginia Challenge.  She finished sixth in the event at last year's NCAA Championships, earning an All-American citation.  Sophomore Savannah Carnahan, who came to Furman from Cumming, Ga., is ranked seventh in the event with a time of 15:49.89 at the Raleigh Relays, after finishing 20th in the event at last year's NCAA East Preliminaries.  

On Thursday, junior Frank Lara finished 11th with a season-best time of 29:33.95 in the semifinals of the 10,000m, punching his ticket to the NCAA Championships.  A native of Houston, Texas, he earned All-American honorable mention accolades after placing 19th in the event at the NCAA Championships last season.  Senior Josh Brickell of Suwanee, Ga., finished 28th with a time of 30:34.90 in the 10,000m, and sophomore Jake Ogden, a native of Dana Point, Calif., placed 11th in his heat and 38th overall with a time of 3:53.20 in the 1,500m.  

The top 12 finishers in each event will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Ore., June 6-9.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information