MALIBU, Calif.- The Georgia College & State University cross country teams re-wrote the record books at the Pepperdine Invitational today (Oct. 4) as the women had three runners beat the previous school mark in the 6K, and the men came two seconds from having a record in the 8K.
The women's team finished seventh among 10 teams including NAIA and NCAA Division I schools. They were also tops among the Division II programs at the meet. The men's team finished the 8K ninth overall and third in the D-II schools.
Juniors Bonnie Ueltzen (Blairsville, Ga.) and Heather Raines (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led the women's side with times of 24:13 (51st place) and 24:16 (52nd), respectively. Two places behind Raines was sophomore Dani Desitche (Snellville, Ga.) with a time of 24:21. All three bettered the previous school record of 24:30 set by Ueltzen Nov. 3, 2007 at the NCAA South Regional.
A pair of freshmen were fourth and fifth on the team, as Karissa Ekstrom (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished in 24:32 and Sarah Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) crossed the line in 24:47. Ekstrom's time ranks fifth in Georgia College history, while Balkcom's time stands sixth.
For the second straight week, the men were led by freshman Rob Manning (Lawrenceville, Ga.). Manning finished with a time 26:49 which placed him 32nd overall and 5th among D-II schools. Just two seconds faster was Rich Dobson (2004-07) at the 2006 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Championships.
Junior Josh Hollar (Canton, Ga.) finished 51st overall with a time of 27:36 and 11th in the Divison-II results. Rookie Colin Conroy (Dacula, Ga.) was 12th among D-II schools and 56th overall with a time of 27:55.
UC-Irvine finished first for the men. The individual winner for the men was Erick Garcia of Fresno State University with a time of 24:45. On the women side, the team winner was USC with their very own Zsofia Erdelyi and her time of 20:33.
The Bobcats do not return to action until they host the PBC Championships at the West Campus Cross Country Course Oct. 25.
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.