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Paladins win two events in opening day of SoCon Championships

Junior Tripp Hurt, freshman Brock Baker and freshman Tanner Hinkle give the Furman men’s track team a bright future. April 26-27 they also gave the Paladins a bright present with three men’s Southern Conference track championships that led the team to a fifth-place finish.

Hurt, a native of Bogart, Ga., smashed a 36-year-old school record to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 8:58.13 at Viking Athletic Complex in Spartanburg, S.C., besting Jon Cole’s time of 9:01.80 that had stood as the Furman benchmark since 1978. Hurt was eighth in the event at the SoCon championships last year.

He also took second in the 5,000-meter run, only eight one-hundredths of a second behind Baker, the champion after crossing the line in 14:57.72. Baker, who hails from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was fourth in the 1,500-meter run, a year after he captured five state championships while competing for Oakland High.

Hinkle, meanwhile, won the 10,000-meter run in 30:57.70. He is from Mason, Mich. All three champions, who had the best times in the conference going into the meet, earned All-SoCon honors.

Baker, Hinkle, Nate Riech (sixth in the 1,500-meter run) and Lee Shearer (steeplechase) earned spots on the all-freshman team.

On the women’s side, junior Sinead Haughey was the only Paladin to claim all-SoCon honors thanks to her third-place finish in the 10000. Last year Haughey became the only Furman woman to ever be named meet’s Most Outstanding Female Track Performer after winning the 5000 and 10000. Ann Sisson (11th in the steeplechase) and Laura Miller (fifth in the 10000) made the all-freshman team.

Furman’s season continues May 9 in Charlottesville, Va., at the UVA Invitational.

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