GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet Friday at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va. The Paladins will square off against every Division I team from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky at the meet. The women's 6K race will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men's 10K race at 11:30 a.m.
"We had three goals at the beginning of the season for both programs, and I️ doubt they'll change any time in the future here at Furman," said Paladin head coach Robert Gary. "We want to defend our SoCon titles, have both teams advance to the NCAA Championships, and record as high of a finish as possible at nationals. Regionals is our second step."
The Paladin men, who clinched their fifth-consecutive Southern Conference title two weeks ago, are ranked seventh nationally and enter the meet as the favored team in the region. Furman's women are ranked ninth nationally after capturing their fifth-straight SoCon title on Oct. 28 and enter the meet ranked second in the Southeast Region. Last season the Paladin men placed third while the women scored a fourth-place finish. Frank Lara advanced to the NCAA Championships as an individual on the men's side in 2016.
Senior Allie Buchalski, sophomores Riley Burr, Savannah Carnahan, Grace Dwyer, Emma Grace Hurley, Gabrielle Jennings, and freshman Kristlin Gear will compete for the Paladin women on Friday, while seniors Josh Brickell, Tanner Hinkle, Frank Lara, Troy Reeder, junior Aaron Templeton, and sophomores Ryan Adams and Mason Coppi will complete the men's slate.
The top two teams at each of the country's nine regional meets will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, which will be held November 18 in Louisville, Ky. Thirteen at-large bids will be given to teams following this weekend's regional competition.
After the competing teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender will be selected to compete at the NCAA Championships. From those teams not selected in the above process, the top four finishers at each regional are automatically selected, but must have finished within the top 25 of the region. Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool (and must have finished in the regional top 25) as at-large individuals.
Live results from Friday's races will be available at http://flashresults.com/2018_Meets/xc/NCAASE/.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information