MADISON, WIS. -- Senior Aaron Templeton placed fifth at the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships Saturday on the Zimmer Championship Course at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., while junior Savannah Carnahan earned All-American honors to lead the 15th-ranked Furman women's cross country team to a 23rd-place finish at the meet.
Templeton, a senior from Knoxville, Tenn., was in 25th place at the 4K mark and moved up to 18th at the 6K point. He was tied for eighth with just 2K left in the 10K race, then gained three spots, turning in a time of 29:11.78 for fifth place to earn All-American accolades. Templeton qualified automatically for the championship by virtue of his third-place individual finish at the region meet. The 2018 Southern Conference Cross Country Runner of the Year, he led the Paladins on the 10K course with a time of 29:31.3 to earn his third all-region citation last Friday.
Carnahan ran consistently among the top 20 during the race, pacing the Paladin women with a time of 20:19.14 on the 6K course and finishing 20th. Junior Emma Grace Hurley climbed ten spots over the final 2K to place 51st with a time of 20:43.84. Junior Gabbi Jennings turned in a time of 21:23.81 for 141st place, and junior Riley Burr took 209th at 22:02.40. Freshman Reilly Caldwell completed the Paladin scorers in 291st with a time of 22:08.57, and freshman Emma Kuntz finished 224th at 22:14.42. Sophomore Krissy Gear placed 237th with a time of 22:29.87.
This year marked the second-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships for the Paladin women's team, which won its sixth-straight Southern Conference Championship in October and went on to place second at the Southeast Region Championships last week. The Paladins posted a seventh-place finish at the national meet last season, the team's first trip to the NCAA Championships.
"Aaron Templeton ran magnificently," said Furman head coach Robert Gary. "Fifth in the NCAA and second American is an unbelievable achievement. Aaron is a great team guy, and we can sense he was running for the entire men's team who just missed qualifying as a team. I believe Aaron will match this performance with a great outdoor season as well.
"Though the woman's team didn't quite put it together as we had hoped, we had some very strong performances from Savanah Carnahan and Emma Hurley - Savanah with 20th place and Emma Grace just missing All-American," continued Gary. "It probably says a lot that the women's team leaves disappointed with 23rd in the country, but I would not be surprised to see this strong group of women, who all return, use it as terrific fuel this track season towards Terre Haute next year.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Complete Furman Results
2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships
Women's 6K - 23rd out of 31 teams -- 527 points
20th Savannah Carnahan 20:19.14
51st Emma Grace Hurley 20:43.84
141st Gabbi Jennings 21:23.81
209th Riley Burr 22:02.40
291st Reilly Caldwell 22:08.57
224th Emma Kuntz 22:14.42
237th Krissy Gear 22:29.87
5th Aaron Templeton 29:11.89