GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman men's and women's cross country teams will defend their league championships Saturday at the 2015 Southern Conference Championship Meet on the Furman Golf Course in Greenville, S.C.
The meet will mark the 86th Annual Southern Conference Cross Country Championship for the men and the 31st for the women. Admission is free to the public.
The championships will begin with the men's 8K run at 10 a.m., followed by the women's 5K event at 10:45 a.m. The top men's and women's teams will be honored as the 2015 conference champions, while the top seven individuals in each race will be named first team all-conference. Individual finishers placing 8th through 14th in each race will comprise the all-conference second team, and the top seven freshmen in each race will comprise the league's all-freshman team.
"Our entire program is very excited for the weekend," said Furman head coach Robert Gary, the 2013and 2014 SoCon Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's programs. "From the dinner the evening before where we will honor former Furman head coach Bill Keesling at our 2014 cross country ring ceremony to the SoCon Championships where we are focused to doing our very best to defend both of our titles, it should be a wonderful experience."
The Furman men's and women's cross country teams swept the team titles for the second consecutive year last season.
The Paladin men's team, currently ranked 10th nationally and second in the Southeast Region, dominated the men's race in 2014, scoring 15 points for the victory and taking the top nine spots in the race. Junior Troy Reeder finished second to lead the Paladin returners, followed by Aaron Templeton, the 2014 SoCon Freshman of the Year. Junior Tanner Hinkle claimed fourth place, while junior Brock Baker was fifth. Sophomore Frank Laura placed sixth, followed by sophomore Austin Sprague in seventh to complete the All-SoCon first team.
Junior William Ivey and sophomore Mark Hadley earned All-SoCon second team accolades after placing eight and ninth, respectively. The Paladins claimed four out of the seven spots on the All-SoCon Freshman Team, as Templeton, Lara, Sprague, and Hadley represented Furman on the team.
The Paladin women's team, which is ranked 13th in the Southeast Region, was led to victory last season by junior Allie Buchalski, who won the individual title and captured 2014 SoCon Women's Runner of the Year accolades. The Paladins claimed three of the top five spots in the race and six of the top ten. Buchalski was joined on the All-SoCon first team by junior Julia Rodriguez, who finished fourth, and sophomore Emma Mashburn, who placed seventh and was named SoCon Freshman of the Year, in addition to earning a spot on the SoCon All-Freshman team. Junior Laura Miller earned All-SoCon second team honors.
For complete results and photos from the 2015 championship, log onto www.soconsports.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information