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Furman athletics program enjoys record-setting year

Allie Buchalski, a 2018 Furman graduate and seven-time All-American, finished second in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

How good was Furman’s overall athletics performance in 2017-18?

The Paladins finished 73rd among 291 NCAA Division I qualifying schools in the Learfield Sports’ Directors’ Cup competition. That was not only the best finish among Southern Conference schools, it was third best in the state (behind Clemson and South Carolina) and ahead of such programs as Boston College (95), Pittsburgh (111) and Georgia Tech (121).

It was Furman’s best finish ever in the competition, topping the previous high of 86th recorded during the 2001-02 school year.

“It was an excellent year for our student-athletes and coaches,” said Furman director of athletics Mike Buddie.  “I’m thrilled to have been able to see our young men and women compete so well and to be recognized for their achievements.  Furman is blessed to have so many coaches, faculty. and staff members who are committed to providing our students a phenomenal experience while on campus.”

Stanford won the competition, and UCLA finished second, followed by Florida, USC, and Texas.  South Carolina (26) and Clemson (52) were the only state schools to finish ahead of Furman, which topped all SoCon schools for the fourth consecutive year.

Finishes by other schools this year include, Navy (74), Colorado State (77), Yale (79), UConn (184),  Butler (129), Samford (139), UNCG (173), Mercer (189), Bucknell (199), Wofford (201), Richmond (212), Elon (217), and Davidson (249).

The Learfield Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in up to 20 sports in Division I—10 men’s and 10 women’s.

Furman, which fields 20 sports, won the 2017-18 Germann Cup (women) and finished third in the Commissioner’s Cup (men) in Southern Conference all-sports competitions.

The Paladins captured six SoCon team championships and advanced six teams into NCAA tournament competition, including its football squad, which finished a consensus No. 20 in two FCS polls.  Furman’s women’s golf team posted an 11th place finish in the NCAA Championships, and All-American Allie Buchalski capped Furman’s signal year with a national runner-up finish in the 5,000m.

Furman volleyball and women’s tennis teams won SoCon regular season championships, and men’s and women’s cross country, women’s tennis, and women’s golf claimed league tournament crowns.

Paladin athletics produced five All-Americans, eight SoCon Players of the Year, seven SoCon Coaches of the Year, and 100 all-conference performers in 2017-18.

For more detailed information, visit furmanpaladins.com.

 

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