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Historic Cross Country Season Lands Furman Athletics 13th In Learfield Director's Cup Competition

Furman Cross Country
Furman Cross Country

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- After the most successful cross country season in school history, Furman is currently ranked 13th nationally among NCAA Division I schools in the Learfield Sports Director's competition, according to updated standings released yesterday.

The standings, which reflect completed NCAA competition in men's and women's cross country and field hockey, have Furman with 120 points, good for 13th among all Division I programs and tops among Southern Conference schools.  Among universities Furman currently leads are Virginia (14th), Michigan State (15th), Mississippi (T17th), North Carolina (30th), Virginia Tech (31st), Louisville (32nd), Duke (35th), Florida State (T40th), and Texas A&M (T59th).

"Obviously, we are thrilled to see Furman in the top 15," said Furman director of athletics Mike Buddie. "Our cross country programs had amazing seasons which has put us in this position, and I hope that we continue a strong run into the spring.  Furman has always tried to field a well-rounded athletics department, and it is great to know that we truly have 20 teams with legitimate shots at scoring Director's Cup points each year."

All told, the standings include 79 schools that have accumulated points via NCAA Tournament competition thus far.  The next update, scheduled for Dec. 14, will include women's and men's soccer.

The Furman men's and women's cross country teams each won their fifth-consecutive Southern Conference Championships in 2017.  The Paladin women, who placed second at the Southeast Region meet to earn the program's first trip to the NCAA Championships, placed seventh at the national meet, while the Paladin men, who won their first Southeast Region title this fall, tied for 26th at the national championship meet.

In addition to its impressive national ranking, Furman holds commanding leads in both the Commissioner's Cup (men's) and Germann Cup (women's) Southern Conference all-sports competitions.

Given annually since 1994 to the school with the most successful, broad-based athletics program based on national finishes in both men's and women's sports,  the Learfield Directors' Cup was originally developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today.  In 1995 it was expanded to include Division II, III and the NAIA and, in 2011-12, expanded to include junior/community colleges.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information