By: Charlie Lott, Contributor
Photo Courtesy of Furman Athletics
Furman’s Men’s and Women’s cross country teams finished victorious over 17 other competing colleges and universities in Saturday’s annual Furman Cross Country Classic. The competition serves as a warmup for the Louisville Invitational three weeks from now where the Paladins will be facing stiffer competition.
In the women’s 6K race, the Paladins took home five out of the top six spots, with senior Allie Buchalski finishing in first with a time of 20:30 and sophomore Gabrielle Jennings finishing in second with a time of 20:42. Grace Dwyer, Kristlin Gear, and Emma Grace Hurley finished in fourth through sixth, with times of 20:59, 21:08, and 21:11 respectively. Cross country scoring works by giving each runner a point value; number one earns one point, number two earns two points, etc. The scores of the top five runners for each team are added up, and the team with the fewest points wins. Furman finished with 18 points, taking home a victory.
According to top finisher Allie Buchalski, the team performed at top level, no easy feat on such a difficult course. “We did really well. The goal was to run a little reserved for the first lap and then really speed up,” Buchalski said. “I was really impressed by our final scoring spread. A lot of our girls had really good times, especially for such a hard course.”
The men’s 8K team was not quite so dominant, but they still showed out, with senior Tanner Hinkle finishing in third with a time of 23:59 and junior Aaron Templeton finishing in fourth with a time of 24:00. Mason Coppi, Josh Brickell, and Ryan Adams rounded out the squad, finishing fifth through seventh with times of 24:02, 24:06, and 24:08 respectively. It was enough for 25 points and a Paladin victory.
Both teams look great coming out of the gates for this season, but that does not mean there is nothing left for them to work on. “We’re gonna get in bigger races with a lot more people, and to be able to have that same spread and same excitement that you have on your home meet is important,” said Buchalski.
Furman’s next meet will be at the Louisville Invitational In Louisville, Kentucky on Sept. 30.
Senior Allie Buchalski celebrates after her finish in the Furman Invitational.