LOUISVILLE, KY. -- Junior Allie Buchalski finished seventh to become the first All-American in the history of the Furman cross country program, and the Furman men's cross country team placed 13th at the 2015 NCAA Championships Saturday at the E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky.
Buchalski posted a time of 20:02.6 on the women's 6K course to place seventh, the highest finish ever by a Furman athlete at the national meet. Buchalski surpasses Cate Pichon, who placed 40th at the 1991 NCAA Women's Championships.
Sophomore Aaron Templeton led the Paladin men on the 10K course, finishing 51st with a time of 30:33.4 to become Furman's highest finisher in the history of the men's program. Lonnie Poole placed 53rd in 1965 to lead the Paladins in their first-ever appearance at the national meet.
Junior Tanner Hinkle posted a time of 30:51.5 for 87th place on Saturday, while junior Troy Reeder was 109th at 31:01.9. Sophomore Frank Lara turned in a time of 31:21.2 to finish 143rd, followed closely by sophomore Austin Sprague, who placed 149th with a time of 31:27.6 to complete the Paladin scorers. Sophomore Josh Brickell recorded a time of 31:54.5 for 191st place, and sophomore Mark Hadley crossed the line in 32:16.5 to finish 213th.
"I can't begin to express how excited and proud I am of our entire program," said Furman head coach Robert Gary at the conclusion of the meet. "I love the trajectory our program is on. Allie finishing seventh was a phenomenal breakout race, and the men's team overcame a couple of our runners falling at the start. We are looking forward to our women's team competing here next year, too, and the men earning a trophy in 2017. With Furman Elite also, it's going to be a very special year for the entirety of our program!"
The Paladin men entered Saturday's meet ranked 15th nationally after posting a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional. Furman received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, earning the Paladins' second trip to nationals in as many years.
Furman's three other appearances in the national championship meet came in 1965, 1970, and 2014. The Paladins' highest finish at the national meet was recorded in 1965, when Furman finished 12 out of 18 teams.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Complete Furman Results
2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships
Men's 10K - 13th out of 31 teams - 423 Points
51st Aaron Templeton 30:33.4
87th Tanner Hinkle 30:51.5
109th Troy Reeder 31:01.9
143rd Frank Lara 31:21.2
149th Austin Sprague 31:27.6
191st Josh Brickell 31:54.5
213th Mark Hadley 32:16.5
7th Allie Buchalski 20:02.6