September 12, 2009

Bobcat Harriers Kick off 2009 at Berry Invite, Women Take Sixth

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BERRY, Ga. - After a ‘false start' of postponing the first meet of the season, the Georgia College & State University cross country squads travelled to Berry College to start the 2009 season today (Sept. 12). The women's team took sixth of the 20-team field on the 5K race.

Georgia College placed third among the Division II schools in the event. The Bobcats had just 153 points, a paltry three behind fifth place University of West Georgia. Host Berry bested the field with 56 points, Shorter College was second, Lee University third and Peach Belt Conference (PBC) opponent Columbus State University earned the fourth spot.

Seniors provided the leadership for Georgia College, taking the top two finishes on the team. Heather Raines (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was 21st overall at 20:37. She ran in a pack of Bobcats, aided by classmate Virginia Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) in 22nd at 20:39 and sophomore Karissa Ekstrom (Alpharetta, Ga.) in 23rd at 20:41.

Former All-PBC honoree junior Dani Destiche (Snellville, Ga.) was 42nd in 21:19, with sophomore Sarah Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) just three slots behind in 21:25 to round out the Bobcat top-five.

Senior Caroline Rentz (Columbus, Ga.) recorded a personal best at 21:51, good for 59th.

Shorter's Justyna Mudy took individual medalist honors in 18:31, bettering the field in the form of Berry's Courtney Cooper by a full 48 seconds.

The Bobcats are back in action Friday, Sept. 18 at the Ricardo Romo/Six Flags Fiesta Texas Classic, hosted by the University of Texas-San Antonio.