ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The 16th-ranked Furman women's cross country team finished second at the 2018 NCAA Southeast Region Championship, while the 20th-ranked Paladin men turned in a fourth-place finish Friday at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
As one of the top two teams at the meet, the Paladin women qualified automatically for the NCAA Championships, which will be held Nov. 17 in Madison, Wis. Senior Aaron Templeton qualified automatically on the men's side by virtue of his third-place individual finish, while the Paladin men will learn on Saturday if they will receive one of the thirteen at-large bids to the national championship meet.
In the first race of the day, the Paladin women's team scored 94 points to place second out of 33 teams, tying the program's highest region finish. N.C. State won the region title with 70 points, giving the Wolfpack and the Paladins the region's two automatic bids. Duke finished third with 139 points.
Furman placed three women on the All-Southeast Region team, including junior Savannah Carnahan, who earned her third-straight all-region citation after leading the Paladins with a third-place finish and a time of 19:54.4 on the 6K course. Carnahan was joined on the all-region team by juniors Emma Grace Hurley and Gabbi Jennings. Hurley, who captured her second all-region nod, turned in a time of 20:17.8 for 11th place, while Jennings, who was honored with her second-consecutive all-region selection, finished 16th with a time of 20:24.9.
Junior Riley Burr finished 28th at 20:50.4, and sophomore Krissy Gear completed the Paladin scorers in 37th place at 21:01.2. Freshman Emma Kuntz placed 44th with a time of 21:07.1, and rookie Reilly Caldwell crossed the line in 21:11.0 for 50th place.
The Furman men scored 116 points to finish fourth out of 33 teams. N.C. State won the men's meet with 83 points, and Eastern Kentucky was second with 90 points to take the two automatic bids.
Templeton paced the Paladins on the 10K course with a time of 29:31.3, finishing third and earning his third all-region citation. Junior Ryan Adams and sophomore Daniel Bernal also placed among the top-25 to claim all-region honors. Adams, who finished eighth with a time of 30:10.7, was named to the all-region team for the second time in his career, while Bernal posted an 18th place finish at 30:28.8 to earn his first career all-region selection.
Junior Jake Ogden turned in a time of 30:46.5 to take 29th place, and rookie Cameron Ponder completed the Paladin scorers in 58th place at 31:29.4. Sophomore Trenton Mandato placed 68th with a time of 31:45.0, and junior Mason Coppi was 78th at 31:55.0.
"We could not be more excited about the women's program," said Furman head coach Robert Gary. "Losing Allie Buchalski would really hurt lesser programs, but our women have really risen to the challenge across the board. Savannah has led the women consistently, but placing all seven of our runners inside the top 50 shows tremendous development.
"The men's program struggled a bit today," continued Gary. "With losing so many strong seniors from last year, we knew it would be tight to advance. Aaron Templeton is running like an All-American and punched his individual ticket looking very controlled. Ryan Adams continues a breakout season and is right on the bubble for an individual at-large bid. We just came up a bit short in the back from some guys who just need another year. We will wait to see the at-large announcement with fingers crossed."
The Paladin women, who finished seventh at last year's NCAA Championships, are making their second-consecutive trip to the national championship meet. The women's race will begin at 10:45 a.m. CT, followed by the men's race at 11:45 a.m. CT.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Complete Furman Results
2018 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships
Women's 6K - 2nd out of 33 teams - 94 Points
3rd Savannah Carnahan 19:54.5
11th Emma Grace Hurley 20:17.8
16th Gabbi Jennings 20:24.9
28th Riley Burr 20:50.4
37th Krissy Gear 21:01.1
44th Emma Kuntz 21:07.1
50th Reilly Caldwell 21:11.0
Men's 10K - 4th out of 33 teams - 116 Points
3rd Aaron Templeton 29:31.3
8th Ryan Adams 30:10.7
18th Daniel Bernal 30:28.8
29th Jake Ogden 30:46.5
58th Cameron Ponder 31:29.4
68th Trenton Mandato 31:45.0
78th Mason Coppi 31:55.0