GCSU Women Fifth at Mercer RunFit Invite, Beat Three PBC Squads

GCSU Women Fifth at Mercer RunFit Invite, Beat Three PBC Squads

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MACON, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University women's cross country squad isn't used to seeing its name listed above reigning Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Champion Columbus State University, but the Bobcats did edge the Cougars at today's Mercer RunFit Sports Invitational, taking fifth in the meet hosted by Mercer University.

The Bobcats were second among the five PBC institutions at the race, carding 179 points, just 18 behind fourth-place University of Montevallo. GCSU beat the 2008 PBC Champs by three.

Senior Virginia Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) paced the squad for the first time this season, crossing the line in the 5k race at 22:16, good for 25th. Classmate and PBC Runner of the Week Heather Raines (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was two slots later in 22:27.

Sophomore Karissa Ekstrom (Alpharetta, Ga.) took 39th in 22:54, just edging classmate Victoria Dobson (New Hamburg, Ontario) at 22:57. Finishing out the Bobcats' top five was Alycia Hayes (Cumming, Ga.) in 48th at 23:17.

Division I Kennesaw State University won the team title with 75 points, beating Division II opponent Florida Southern College by 35. KSU's Mackenzie Howe also took the individual honors in 17:56.

The Bobcats are back in action Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Southern Challenge in Marietta, Ga.

The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.