Bobcat Women, Raines Take Titles at Southern Challenge

>>>full results

MARIETTA, Ga. - Georgia College & State University women's cross country took six of the top eight individual finishes at the Southern Challenge Saturday (Oct. 10) hosted by Chattahoochee Tech, en route to the second race title in as many years for the Bobcat women.

Georgia College split into GCSU A and GCSU B teams, but it didn't matter, as the Bobcats took the top two team finishes. GCSU A had just 20 points, while GCSU B had 75, edging Clark Atlanta University by two. The 20 points by GCSU A is the third-lowest point total in Bobcat history. The Bobcat women's last win came at the Pepperdine Invitational in 2008.

Senior Heather Raines (Lawrenceville, Ga.) won individual medalist honors, covering the 5K course in 20:56. She is the first GCSU runner to break the tape in a meet since Crystal Sutton won the Paine College Invitational in 2004.

Raines beat Virginia Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) by just over a second, with sophomore Karissa Ekstrom (Alpharetta, Ga.) third at 21:09. Senior Caroline Rentz (Columbus, Ga.) was the fourth Bobcat finisher in fourth at 21:23, her finish being tops for GCSU B.

Sarah Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) was sixth, taking the course in 21:25 for team ‘A', with Alycia Hayes (Cumming, Ga.) rounding out the top-10s for the Bobcats in eighth (21:38).

The Bobcats are back in action Friday, Oct. 16 at the SMC Invitational, hosted by St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vt.

Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com 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. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports.