GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet Friday at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va. The women's 6K race will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the men's 10K race at noon.
"I am very excited to see if our programs can rise and meet the challenge of qualifying for the NCAA Championships," said Furman head coach Robert Gary. "Due to some red shirting on both sides, we knew it was not going to be a for sure thing. We have had several true freshman transition in quite well and understand that a SoCon title and the NCAA Championships will always be our two main focuses."
The Paladins, who clinched their fourth-consecutive Southern Conference titles for both the men and the women at the league championship meet two weeks ago, will square off against every Division I team from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky at the regional meet. The Furman men enter the meet ranked fifth in the Southeast Region, while the women were ranked sixth in the region in the latest poll.
Last season the Paladin men's team placed fourth at the region meet and earned an at-large bid to the national championships, where they recorded a 13th-place finish. Allie Buchalski advanced to the NCAA Championships as an individual on the women's side for the second-consecutive year in 2015.
Senior Laura Miller and freshmen Riley Burr, Savannah Carnahan, Grace Dwyer, Emma Grace Hurley, Gabrielle Jennings, and Jennifer Stephenson will compete for the Paladin women on Friday, while senior Matt Lange, juniors Josh Brickell and Frank Lara, sophomore Quintin McKinnish, and rookies Ryan Adams, Mason Coppi, and Jake Ogden will complete the men's slate.
The top two teams at each of the country's nine regional meets will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, which will be held November 19 in Terre Haute, Ind. Thirteen at-large bids will be given to teams following this weekend's regional competition.
After the competing teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender will be selected to compete at the NCAA Championships. From those teams not selected in the above process, the top four finishers at each regional are automatically selected, but must have finished within the top 25 of the region. Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool (and must have finished in the regional top 25) as at-large individuals.
Live results from Friday's races will be available at http://www.flashresults.com/2017_Meets/xc/NCAASE/. Complete results will be posted following the meet at www.furmanpaladins.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information