Furman Cross Country Stays Ready

Furman’s Din Men and Girl Gang are no less prepared for competition season than they have been in normal years.

Senior Ryan Adams competes in an indoor event. Furman University Athletic Department

Furman Cross Country and Track will look to continue their Southern Conference dominance later than planned. Despite their interrupted indoor season, and now the postponement of their cross-country season this fall, Furman’s Din Men and Girl Gang are no less prepared for competition season than they have been in normal years. 

Even without the final months of their spring season, Furman boasted a trophy case of awards. Savannah Carnahan led Furman in postseason accolades, claiming the 2020 Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Most Outstanding Athlete award. Seniors Ryan Adams and Gabi Jennings were honored with All-American titles to finish their senior seasons after qualifying for NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. 

“I’m still targeting the 3K Steeple for the Olympic Trials next year,” says Jennings about her delayed Olympic dreams. As a standout in the event, she hopes to end her Furman eligibility with a strong showing next June in Oregon. Diverse training environments in Louisiana, Vermont and Colorado have given her the needed mental and physical edge to outrun other qualifiers. 

“I definitely feel like I benefited, even if just mentally, from mixing up my training environments…now is a good time to experiment and see what works best for me,” said Jennings. The high-altitude training has already benefited her racing, coming out of an isolated summer training season to post two negative COVID-19 tests and a five second personal best of 4:15.56 in the 1500m at Music City Distance Carnival this past weekend. Din Men leader, Ryan Adams, competed in Nashville as well, running right at his personal best of 3:40.47 in the 1500m.

As for Furman’s next generation of award-winners and hopeful olympians, their postponed season brings more time to get to know the team and the training grounds. Incoming freshmen will join Furman from across the southeast, hoping to hold their ground with veterans in a training season full of unknowns.  

“Our sport is about adapting. I have great faith that our team will be the first and the best to pivot,” said Head Coach Robert Gary about the extra training time. “We will use this time to work to advance the goals of our program which is always to win Southern Conference titles and contend for NCAA trophies.”

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