Note: this is the first of a series of summer profiles of recent Fellowship Christian School graduates who have or are currently competing in college athletics.
Hurley Wraps up Cross Country, Track & Field Career at Furman
Like countless of senior athletes from the winter and spring NCAA seasons, Emma Grace Hurley's career ended rather abruptly.
"It feels like I didn't graduate," Hurley said. "It does not seem like a normal summer so far either. I started working a week [after online graduation]. I am enjoying it."
Hurley, who earned a double degree in communications and Political science/international affairs from Furman University in South Carolina, recently joined Insight Global as an invoicing specialist.
A former state champion at FCS, Hurley excelled at cross country, indoor track and outdoor track & field during her four-year career at Furman.
"Cross country was great this season," Hurley said. "I could not have been happier. We finished ninth as a team at NCAAs. Being in the top 10 makes every early morning worth it. Those feelings of accomplishment have transferred into work."
Hurley was able to complete her senior year of indoor track.
"I did not have the best personal season, but the team finished well," she said. "We placed six girls in the top eight at the conference championship. That last meet was special."
Unfortunately COVID-19 cost Hurley the chance to run one last time as an outdoor track & field season. It was a strange and disappointing season to a stellar career in the Southern Conference. The winter and spring seasons were called off on the same day.
"It feels unfinished," Hurley said. "It was over really quick."
Hurley thought about grad school before taking her position at Insight Global, is an industry leader for IT, Accounting and Finance, Engineering, and Government staffing and managed services.
The 2016 graduate of Fellowship Christian School fondly recalls the relationships she built during four years at the Greenville, S.C. university.
"My fondest memories are the day-to-day practices and hanging out with my teammates, especially cross country," she said. "The friendships I made there are special. I am also proud of the improvements I made, especially in the 5K. I never expected to run one minute faster in college, but I did."
Team accomplishments are also important to Hurley.
"Not many college runners get to be on NCAA top 10 teams, and I was on two of them."
The Paladins from Furman placed seventh at the NCAA meet in 2017, and brought home a nine-place finish in 2019.
Hurley offered some advice for incoming freshman athletes from Fellowship.
"Don't just expect great results immediately, but put your head down and work hard," she said.
Here are some senior highlights for Hurley:
She notched her fourth-consecutive All-Southeast Region honors due to a 16th-place place finish (20:37.5) at the NCAA Southeast Cross Country Championships, Additionally, she came in 89th at the NCAA Championships. Hurley came in fifth (18:01.8) at the SoCon Cross Country Championships, while helped her earn All-SoCon first team honors.
Hurley recorded a 33rd-place finish at the Bill Dellinger Invitational (20:40.0) and claimed 54th at the Nuttycombe Invitational (20:48.5). She helped her distance medley relay team grab a program record at the Vanderbilt Invitational, and was also runner-up in the mile (4:51.70) at the event. She was part of the winning distance medley relay team at SoCon indoor meet.
In addition Hurley was runner-up in the 5,000 meters (16:57.09) and fourth in the mile (4:58.63) at the league meet. She earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors for cross country.Click here to view all Hurley college accolades on Furmanpaladins.com. (Photos courtesy of Furmanpaladins.com)