GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the 63rd Annual Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational Friday in South Bend, Ind.
The meet will begin with a women's 5K run at 1 p.m. followed by a men's 5-mile race at 1:45 p.m.
The Paladin men, running in the Blue Division, will face BYU, California, Dayton, Florida State, Illinois State, Incarnate Word, Iowa, Miami (Ohio), Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Santa Clara, Temple, Utah Valley, UT-Arlington, Weber State, and Wyoming.
In the women's Blue Division, Furman will square off against Baylor, BYU, California, Central Michigan, Clemson, Dayton, Duke, Eastern Michigan, Florida State, Indiana State, Iowa, LSU, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Southern Miss., Temple, and Weber State.
The Furman women, who are ranked 12th nationally and placed second at last year's Southeast Region Championships, are five-time defending Southern Conference Champions and return seven of their top eight competitors from last year, including junior Savannah Carnahan, the 2016 SoCon Freshman of the Year, who claimed a spot on the All-SoCon first team after placing third at the league meet last year.
Carnahan is joined by All-SoCon first team selections Gabrielle Jennings and Grace Dwyer, plus juniors Emma Grace Hurley and Riley Burr who earned All-SoCon second team accolades after recording top-10 finishes at the championships last season. Sophomore Krissy Gear, the 2017 SoCon Freshman of the Year, and junior Jennifer Stephenson, complete the Paladin slate of returnees.
The Furman men's team, ranked 28th nationally, is also the five-time defending league champion and won the Southeast Region Championship in 2017. Senior Aaron Templeton, the 2017 SoCon Runner of the Year, returns to lead Furman after winning the SoCon individual title last season. Sophomore Daniel Bernal, the 2017 SoCon Freshman of the Year, also returns in 2018, along with 2017 All-SoCon selections Mason Coppi, Ryan Adams, and Jake Ogden. Freshman Cameron Ponder joined the team after posting the nation's top mile time among his graduating class.
"This will be our first real test of the season at Notre Dame, but we also realize that championship season (SoCon, NCAA Regionals, NCAA Championships) is how our program ultimately measures itself and we feel very confident that we will have our best racing there," said Furman head cross country coach Robert Gary, who has captured the last five SoCon Coach of the Year awards.
Complete results can be found at www.furmanpaladins.com following the completion of the meet.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information