by Brian DeCandia, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College women’s cross country team and head coach Joe Samprone have been training all season to compete in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Championships this Saturday in Aiken, S.C. hosted by USC Aiken set for a 10 a.m. start.
“This is the first team we’ve brought to conference in a long time that I don’t know where they are going to finish,” said coach Samprone. “We are a very young team but we have a tremendous amount of talent. We are ready and have been gearing up for this tournament all season.”
The Bobcats are traveling with only two seniors, Victoria Dobson (New Hamburg, Ontario) and Karissa Ekstrom (Alpharetta, Ga.). The PBC Championships is a 6K event for the women. Dobson recorded her best 6K time of the season at the Pacer Invitational, 25:48. She had her best finish at the Augusta State University Invitational racing to 18th place. Ekstrom also ran her best 6K at the Pacer Invitational with a time of 25:49.
Three sophomores make the trip, including top-runner Allison Lones (Kathleen, Ga.). Lones raced to All-PBC status last season and hopes to repeat those efforts. She paced the Bobcats in all five races this season. Lones raced to a sixth place finish at the Pacer Invitational with her best 6K time of the season, 24:38.
Sophomores Madeline McCane (McDonough, Ga.) and Ashton Passino (Alpharetta, Ga.) look to keep pace this weekend. McCane finished 17th at the ASU Invitational with a time of 26:13 and Passino finished one spot ahead of McCane with a time of 26:11.
Two freshmen, Rebecca Shane (Lilburn, Ga.) and Catie Tinker (Dallas, Ga.) look to create a spark for the Bobcats this weekend. Shane has raced well all season long, finishing 13th at the ASU Invitational in 26:00. Tinker has only participated in two events because of an injury but showed promise at ASU Invitational, finishing 20th with a time of 26:49.
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/BobcatSports and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.