MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - Breaking in the brand new West Campus Cross Country Course, the Georgia College & State University cross country teams each had solid third-place finishes today (Sept. 6) in the Georgia College Pre-Conference Meet.
The Bobcat women finished third with 91 points, 49 behind second-place Augusta State University and 55 off the pace set by Columbus State University. The CSU men also took the team title with 28 points, 14 ahead of Clayton State University and 61 in front of Georgia College.
Finishing 10th, freshman Karissa Ekstrom (Alpharetta, Ga.) set a personal best collegiate 5K in 20:07, tied with Crystal Sutton for the sixth-best time in school history. Supporting her was junior Heather Raines (Loganville, Ga.) in 13th (20:24).
Another rookie, Sarah Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) was third on the team at 21st overall (20:51). 2007 All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) honorees Bonnie Ueltzen (Blairsville, Ga.) and Dani Destiche (Snellville, Ga.)were 23rd and 24th, respectively. Ueltzen finished in 20:59, with Destiche a second behind.
The men's course was an 8K distance, as these Bobcats were also led by some fresh faces. The top four Georgia College finishers each set personal bests. Freshman Colin Conroy (Dacula, Ga.) finished 14th in 27:49, as classmate Rob Manning (Lawrenceville, Ga.) crossed the line just seven seconds later in 15th.
Sophomore Erik Ottoson (Suwanee, Ga.) also set his personal best at 28:05 in 17th, while freshman Travis Knight (Oxford, Ga.) added a 28:30 finish in 21st overall. Returning All-PBC honoree Josh Hollar (Canton, Ga.)was five seconds and one slot behind Knight.
Clayton's Allison Kreutzer won the women's title at 18:45, setting a high bar for the course record at 33 seconds ahead of the competition. The men's race was taken by fellow Laker Fidelis Mutiso, covering the course in 26:07, setting the course mark over Francis Marion University's Hillary Kiprop by a second.
The Bobcats are back in action in Wingate, N.C. Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Pre-Region Meet hosted by Wingate University.
Visit www.GCSU.edu/Athletics to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics 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.