LOUISVILLE, KY. -- The Furman men's cross country team placed second at the 2014 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships Friday at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., becoming the first cross country program to qualify for the NCAA championships in the modern, competitive era. Furman's only other appearances in the national championship meet came in 1965 and 1970. The Paladins earn an automatic bid to the 2014 meet, which will be held Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Furman men scored 79 points to place second, just four points behind winner Virginia, who earned the other Southeast Region automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Additional at-large bids will be announced on Saturday.
Junior Tripp Hurt led all Paladin finishers on the day, placing eighth with a time of 30:21.0 on the men's 10K course. Sophomore Tanner Hinkle, freshman Aaron Templeton, and sophomore Troy Reeder finished back-to-back-to-back to solidify the Furman advantage. Hinkle turned in a time of 30:28.0 for 12th place, followed by Templeton in 13th at 30:28.3. Reeder claimed 14th place at 30:29.5.
Freshman Frank Lara rounded out the Paladin scorers in 32nd place with a time of 31:03.5, while rookie Mark Hadley turned in a time of 31:10.8 for 39th place. Sophomore Brock Baker was 61st at 31:38.8.
The Furman women's team scored 195 points for sixth place in the team competition, moving up two spots from last year's eighth-place finish. The Paladins, who defeated both in-state rivals South Carolina and Clemson, garnered the top finish among all teams from South Carolina.
Sophomore Allie Buchalski paced the Paladins on the 6K course, finishing ninth with a time of 20:35.7, to advance to the NCAA Championships as an individual. Senior Sinead Haughey posted a time of 20:46.0 for 17th place, and sophomore Julia Rodriguez claimed 48th place at 21:19.2. Sophomore Grace Tinkey was 54th at 21:24.2, while rookie Emma Mashburn placed 70th with a time of 21:42.1 to complete the Paladin slate of scorers. Sophomore Laura Miller crossed the line in 21:57.2 for 83rd place, and sophomore Maddie Wolfe placed 113th with a time of 22:38.8.
"I could not be prouder of our entire program," said Furman head coach Robert Gary at the conclusion of the races. "We have talked about building a national distance powerhouse, and both teams are on that trajectory. Allie just missed qualifying for nationals last year, so I was glad to see that she advanced today to lead the women to sixth. However, the day belonged to the men's team. Watching them lead at the front for the entirely of the race will always be one of my favorite 30 minutes ever. Except for Tripp, we have the entire team back for two or even three more years."
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Complete Furman Results
2014 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships
Men's 10K - 2nd out of 33 teams - 79 Points
8th Tripp Hurt 30:21.0
12th Tanner Hinkle 30:28.0
13th Aaron Templeton 30:28.3
14th Troy Reeder 30:29.5
32nd Frank Lara 31:03.5
39th Mark Hadley 31:10.8
61st Brock Baker 31:38.8
Women's 6K - 6th out of 38 teams - 195 Points
9th Allie Buchalski 20:35.7
17th Sinead Haughey 20:46.0
48th Julia Rodriguez 21:19.2
54th Grace Tinkey 21:24.2
70th Emma Mashburn 21:42.1
83rd Laura Miller 21:57.2
113th Maddie Wolfe 22:38.8