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Furman Cross Country Teams Claim Third-Straight Eye Opener Invitational Titles

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Furman cross country teams opened the 2018 season Friday with their third-consecutive Eye Opener Invitational titles at the Milliken Research Center in Spartanburg, S.C.  The Paladin men scored 15 points in the victory, while the Paladin women tallied 17 points for the win.

Furman runners took the top six spots in the men's 8K race, en route to the perfect score.  Sophomore Daniel Bernal won the individual title with a time of 25:36.7, and rookie Cameron Ponder posted a time of 25:46.3 for second place in his collegiate debut.  Junior Mason Coppi placed third with a time of 25:52.0, followed by junior Jake Ogden in fourth at 26:03.2.  Junior Allen Clark finished fifth at 26:12.6 to complete the Paladin scorers, and sophomore Trent Mandato placed sixth with a time of 26:24.1. 

Junior Madison Daniel and sophomore Luke Meade placed eighth and ninth, respectively.  Daniel crossed the line in 26:57.2, followed by Meade at 26:58.7.  Junior Thomas Moore finished 38th with a time of 29:03.7, and junior Patrick McNamara was 39th at 29:07.8

The Paladin women claimed seven of the top nine spots on the 5K course, with junior Gabbi Jennings winning the individual championship with a time of 17:53.3, followed by junior Riley Burr in second at 18:13.0.  Junior Emma Grace Hurley rounded out the top three with a time of 18:24.9.  Junior Jennifer Stephenson finished sixth at 18:52.9, and sophomore Emily Lane was seventh with a time of 18:55.0 to round out the Furman scorers.  

Freshman Annika Sleenhof placed eighth with a time of 1:56.5, followed by rookie Emma Kuntz in ninth place at 19:16.0.  Sophomore Reilly Caldwell turned in a time of 19:40.6 for 12th place, and freshman Kathleen Simms was 13th at 19:44.6.

"Both programs competed really well despite some hot conditions and a fairly heavy workload this week, along with classes beginning," said Furman head coach Robert Gary.  "We turn our focus towards a great weekend on Sept. 15 at our Furman Invitational and our annual Stakeholder Dinner the evening before."

After an off weekend next weekend, the Paladins will compete at the Furman Invitational on September 15.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information


Furman Men's Individual Results - 8K

1 Daniel Bernal 25:36.7

2 Cameron Ponder 25:46.3

3 Mason Coppi 25:52.0

4 Jake Ogden 26:03.2

5 Allen Clark 26:12.6

6 Trent Mandato 26:24.1

8 Madison Daniel 26:57.2

9 Luke Meade 26:58.7

38 Thomas Moore 29:03.7

39 Patrick McNamara 29:07.8


Furman Women's Individual Results - 5K

1 Gabbi Jennings 17:53.3

2 Riley Burr 18:13.0

3 Emma Grace Hurley 18:24.9

6 Jennifer Stephenson 18:52.9

7 Emily Lane 18:55.0

8 Annika Sleenhof 18:56.5

9 Emma Kuntz 19:16.0

12 Reilly Caldwell 19:40.6

13 Kathleen Simms 19:44.6