GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman distance athletes Tripp Hurt, Tanner Hinkle, and Sinead Haughey have qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Regional, which will be held May 29-31, in Jacksonville, Fla.
A junior from Bogart, Ga., Hurt qualified for the regional meet in the men's 3,000m Steeplechase after recording a time of 8:58.13 to take first place at the SoCon Outdoor Championships, earning All-SoCon honors and breaking the former Paladin record of 8:59.05.
Hurt, who was honored as the Furman MVP for 2013-14, won the 3,000m at the 2014 SoCon Indoor Championships with a time of 8:18.06, breaking the old record of 8:20.40, and also claimed the league title in the 5,000m at the meet, becoming the first Furman men's track and field athlete to win two events at the league indoor meet since 1973. For his efforts, he was also named the SoCon Student Athlete of the Week following the indoor championship meet. Hurt earned All-SoCon first team honors after leading Furman with a fourth-place finish at the SoCon cross country championships, helping the Paladins to their first SoCon cross country championship since 1976. He was named to the Academic All-Conference team for both cross country and indoor track.
Hinkle, a freshman from Mason, Mich., will compete in the men's 10,000m at the NCAA regionals after posting a time of 29:38.11. This season, he set a new Furman indoor 5,000m record with a time of 14:29.18 then went on to claim new Paladin outdoor records in both the 5,000m (14:21.50) and the 10,000m (29:38.11).
An All-SoCon second team selection for cross country, Hinkle was also named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team. Hinkle was chosen SoCon Indoor Track Runner of the Week on February 19 and placed second in both the 3,000m and 5,000m at the league indoor championships, earning All-SoCon honors and claiming a spot on the all-freshman team. At the SoCon Outdoor Championships, Hinkle won the 10,000m and finished sixth in the 5,000m. He garnered All-SoCon accolades in the 10,000m and was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team in both events.
A junior from Central, S.C., Haughey qualified for the regional meet with a time of 34:32.57 in the women's 10,000m. Haughey, who earned All-Southern Conference accolades after placing third in the 10,000m at the league championship meet, set new Paladin records in both the 5,000m (16:57.99) and 10,000m (34:32.57) during the outdoor season.
For her efforts, she was chosen the Paladins' 2014 Team MVP for outdoor track and field. Haughey also garnered All-SoCon second team honors for cross country after helping the Paladins to their first league cross country championship since 2000. A member of the Academic All-Conference team for both cross country and indoor track, Haughey was honored as the 2013 SoCon Most Outstanding Female Track Performer.
Hurt and Hinkle are the first Paladin male track and field athletes to qualify for the NCAAs since Lee Gilmer competed in the 1,500m in 2012, while Haughey becomes the first Furman female track and field regional qualifier since Chibuzo Aguocha reached the NCAAs in the triple jump in 2008. Haughey is the first Paladin female to qualify since the NCAA adopted the current system of holding only two regionals instead of four, beginning in 2010.
The East Regional will be hosted by North Florida University. The first round of the men's 10,000m event will be held on Thursday, May 29, at 9 p.m., followed by the women's 10,000m at 9:40 p.m. The opening race of the men's 3,000m Steeplechase will take place on Friday, May 30, at 8:50 p.m. The top 12 finishers in each race will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Ore., June 12-14.