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Furman Wins Sixth-Straight Southern Conference Championships

Furman Wins Sixth-Straight Southern Conference Championships

CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- The Furman men's and women's cross country teams swept the team titles for the sixth consecutive year Saturday at the 2018 Southern Conference Cross Country Championships on the campus of Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C.

In the opening race of the day, the 18th-ranked Furman men's team took seven of the top nine spots, scoring 23 points for the victory.  Runner-up East Tennessee State tallied 57 points, followed by Samford in third with 72 points. 

Furman senior Aaron Templeton was honored as the SoCon Men's Runner of the Year for the second-consecutive year after winning the men's individual title with a time of 24:01.52 on the 8K course.  Junior Mason Coppi, who earned the SoCon Pinnacle Award, which is given to the athlete with the highest GPA on the championship winning team, placed fourth at 25:27.08, followed by junior Ryan Adams in fifth with a time of 25:27.63.  Rookie Cameron Ponder captured SoCon Freshman of the Year accolades after posting a sixth-place finish, tops among all rookies, with a time of 25:35.94, and sophomore Daniel Bernal completed the Paladin scorers in seventh place at 25:36.50.  The Paladin top five all earned a spot on the All-SoCon first team, and Ponder was also named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team.

The Paladins placed two men on the All-SoCon second team, including sophomore Trenton Mandato, who finished eighth with a time of 25:38.83, and junior Jake Ogden, who claimed ninth place with a time of 25:50.09.  Sophomore Luke Meade posted a 17th-place finish with a time of 26:15.23, and sophomore Allen Clark was 26th at 26:59.36.

The 12th-ranked Furman women's team scored 25 points for the win, taking six of the top 10 spots, beating out second-place Chattanooga's 84 points.  Samford finished third with 103 points.

Paladin junior Savannah Carnahan, who was honored with the SoCon Pinnacle Award for holding the highest GPA on the championship team, led Furman with a time of 17:21.81 on the 5K course.  She was joined on the All-SoCon first team by junior Emma Grace Hurley, who finished third at 17:40.21, and junior Gabbi Jennings, who tallied a fourth-place finish with a time of 17:45.34.  Junior Riley Burr also landed an All-SoCon first team citation with a seventh-place finish at 18:13.60.  

Sophomore Krissy Gear, who completed the Paladin slate of scorers, was honored with All-SoCon second team accolades after placing ninth at 18:15.27, along with freshman Emma Kuntz, who took tenth place and was the top rookie finisher at the meet with a time of 18:18.20.  Freshman Reilly Caldwell, who placed 12th at 18:20.70, and junior Jennifer Stephenson, who finished 14th at 18:29.26, also joined Gear and Kuntz on the All-SoCon second team, and Kuntz and Caldwell were both named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team.  Sophomore Emily Lane scored a 16th-place finish with a time of 18:39.35.

"I am very proud of the entire program," said Furman head coach Robert Gary, who was honored as the Southern Conference Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's programs.  "In very tough conditions, both teams defended their titles with some good, hard front running.  It was great that our only senior, Aaron Templeton, defended his title leading from the gun, too.  Now, all attention turns to qualifying both programs to the NCAA Championships."

Furman will compete at the Southeast Regional Championships on November 9 in Rock Hill, S.C.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information


Furman Men's Individual Results

1 Aaron Templeton 24:01.52

4 Mason Coppi 25:27.08

5 Ryan Adams 25:27.63

6 Cameron Ponder 25:35.94

7 Daniel Bernal 25:36.40

8 Trent Mandato 25:38.83

9 Jake Ogden 25:50.09

17 Luke Meade 26:15.23

26 Allen Clark 26:59.36


Furman Women's Individual Results

2 Savannah Carnahan 17:21.81

3 Emma Grace Hurley 17:40.21

4 Gabbi Jennings 17:45.34

7 Riley Burr 18:13.60

9 Krissy Gear 18:15.27

10 Emma Kuntz 18:18.20

12 Reilly Caldwell 18:20.70

14 Jennifer Stephenson 18:29.26

16 Emily Lane 18:39.35


Men's Team Scores

1. Furman – 23

2. ETSU – 57

3. Samford – 72

4. UNCG - 138

5. VMI - 169

6. Western Carolina - 184

7. Mercer - 185

8. Chattanooga - 203

9. Wofford - 238

10. The Citadel - 262


Women's Team Scores

1. Furman- 25

2. Chattanooga- 84

3. Samford- 103

T4. ETSU – 126

T4. Wofford – 126

6. Western Carolina – 150

7. UNCG – 180

8. VMI – 190

9. Mercer – 250

10. The Citadel - 281


Men's First-Team All-SoCon

Aaron Templeton, Furman

Ben Varghese, ETSU

Dillon Dean, Samford

Mason Coppi, Furman

Dillon Dean, Samford

Cameron Ponder, Furman

Daniel Bernal, Furman


Women's First-Team All-SoCon

Hannah Steelman, Wofford

Savannah Carnahan, Furman

Emma Grace Hurley, Furman

Gabrielle Jennings, Furman

Lindsey Stallworth, ETSU

Shian Mallory, Samford

Riley Burr, Furman


Men's Second-Team All-SoCon

Trent Mandato, Furman

Jake Ogden, Furman

Noah Charles, ETSU 

Davone Hernandez, VMI

Ben Bryant, Samford

Owen Bailey, Samford

Matthew Scarr, ETSU


Women's Second-Team All-SoCon

Kaitlyn Lingard, Western Carolina

Kristlin Gear, Furman

Emma Kuntz, Furman

Emily Poole, Chattanooga

Reilly Caldwell, Furman

Makenzie Jones, Chattanooga

Jennifer Stephenson, Furman


Men's All-Freshman Team

Thomas Knepshield, UNCG

Robert Zell, Mercer

Jonathan Boyd, Chattanooga

Gavin Jenkins, VMI

Gavin Cooper, ETSU

Brandon Hernandez, UNCG

Cameron Ponder, Furman


Women's All-Freshman Team

Emma Kuntz, Furman

Reilly Caldwell, Furman

Shila Kapaya, ETSU

Genevieve Schwarz, ETSU

Mary Thorne, Samford

Carter Marchbanks, Samford

Hannah Corson, Mercer


Men's Freshman of the Year

Cameron Ponder, Furman


Women's Freshman of the Year

Shila Kapay, ETSU


Men's Runner of the Year

Aaron Templeton, Furman


Women's Runner of the Year

Hannah Steelman, Wofford


Men's Pinnacle Award Recipient

Mason Coppi, Furman


Women's Pinnacle Award Recipient

Savannah Carnahan, Furman


Men's Coach of the Year

Robert Gary, Furman


Women's Coaches of the Year

Robert Gary, Furman