by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University cross country teams and head coach Joe Samprone have announced the hiring of Heather Raines as graduate assistant coach.
Raines returns to the Bobcat cross country program after spending four seasons with the team. She will pursue a MAT degree.
A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Raines was the first Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Runner of the Week in the history of women’s cross country at Georgia College in the fall of 2009, repeating that feat again later in the season. She won the 2009 Southern Challenge at Chattahoochie Tech, and also was a two-time PBC All-Academic selection. She owns the schools third-best 5K time at 19:50, adding the No. 2 slot in 10K races at 24:16.
“Cross country is very fortunate to have Heather return as it’s graduate assistant,” said Samprone. “She was a top runner on our women’s team for four years so she’s very familiar with our program. Raines was a great student-athlete during her undergraduate days at Georgia College so she’ll be a wonderful role model for this year’s teams.”
In her senior season, the Bobcat cross country team placed fourth at the NCAA Southeast Regional, the best finish in school history. She also picked up some hardware off the course, as she led a team in the National CW/Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Competition to a first-place finish, was named to the PBC All-Academic team, was one of six Harriers to make the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National All-Academic Team and was a PBC Gold Scholar.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, back-to-back winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams’ multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/GCSUBobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.