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August 12, 2013

Columbus State Selected as Men’s Cross Country Preseason Favorite

Augusta, GA – The Columbus State Cougars have been selected as the preseason favorite to claim the 2013 PBC men's cross country title in a poll of the league's head coaches released on Monday.  The Cougars received seven of a possible nine first-place votes to finish with 77 points in the poll.  Georgia Regents University Augusta was next with 72 while Clayton State was third and Flagler fourth.  UNC Pembroke, Young Harris, Georgia College, Montevallo, Francis Marion and Armstrong rounded out the voting. 

After having their string of five straight PBC Championships snapped in 2011, the Cougars rebounded to win the title again in 2012, their sixth in the last seven years.  CSU also took the NCAA Southeast Regional title for the first time in program history.   For 2013 the Cougars return seven runners from last season's team including sophomore Jacob Dirkman and senior Heath Lamb, who finished second and third in the PBC Championships a year ago.  Also back is senior Stephen Bowers, fifth at the PBC, and junior Silas Rugut, who ran sixth.

Georgia Regents University Augusta (formerly Augusta State) finished second at the 2012 PBC Championships after winning the title the year before.  Ten Jaguars return from the 2012 squad including senior Jaiden Brandt, who finished fourth at the PBC Championships, also ran fourth at the NCAA regional, earning a spot in the national championships.  Also back is junior Dustin Ross, who finished eight at the PBC race last year.

Clayton State returns seven of eight runners from last year's team that finished fifth at the PBC Championships.   Seniors Charles Anderson and Aryton Azcue return along with Kenyan sophomore Job Kemboi, who was the first Laker to cross the line at the 2012 PBC run in 11th place.

Flagler had their best team finish ever at the 2012 PBC Championship with a third-place finish.  The Saints bring back eight runners from that squad, led by seniors Zak Shave and Justin Talavera.  Junior Corey Mundy led Flagler with a seventh-place finish at the 2012 conference run while sophomore Dillon Hodge was ninth and sophomore Erik Hartley 12th, all three were named All-Conference.

The 2013 PBC cross country season begins the weekend of Sept. 7 with most teams at the Georgia Southwestern Remembrance Run.  Georgia Southwestern will also host the PBC Championships for the first time in school history on Oct. 26.

The preseason poll is listed below.  Teams were given nine points for a first-place vote, eight for a second-place and so on.  Coaches were not permitted to rank their own teams.

Rank

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

Total

1. Columbus State 7 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 77
2. GRU Augusta 2 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 72
3. Clayton State 1 2 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 60
4. Flagler 0 2 4 0 2 0 1 0 0 57
5. UNC Pembroke 0 1 1 1 4 1 0 1 0 47
6. Young Harris 0 0 0 3 0 5 1 0 0 41
7. Georgia College 0 0 0 3 1 2 3 0 0 40
8. Montevallo 0 0 0 0 1 2 5 1 0 23
9. Francis Marion 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 4 14
10. Armstrong 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 12