COLUMBUS, GA – The Peach Belt Conference presented several men's and women's cross country awards on Friday night at a reception on the eve of the PBC Championships at Fort Benning, Ga. Georgia College's Katherine Yost and UNC Pembroke's Silus Kipkoech were named the PBC Runners of the Year. GC's Brian Skoglind and Clayton State's Joy Diaz received the PBC Elite 15 Awards presented by EAB. The PBC All-Sportsmanship team and All-Academic team were also announced.
Katherine Yost becomes the first Georgia College cross country athlete, male or female, to be named the PBC Runner of the Year. A senior from Norcross, Ga., she won all four races she competed in during the regular season, breaking her own 6k school record in the process. Yost owns the top two fastest 6k times in the PBC this season, with a league-best 21:44.9 set at the Bobcat Invitational. She also holds the second-fastest 5k time in the league.
Silus Kipkoech took the PBC by storm in his first collegiate season. The freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, won all four races he entered this year, setting a meet record at the D2 Showcase and turning in two of the top 14 fastest 8k times in school history. He ran the fastest 8k in the Peach Belt Conference – by 45 seconds – at the Florida State Invitational, finishing second overall and first in the college division by beating 46 DI runners. He also holds the fastest 6k time in the league which he set at the Elon Invitational. Kipkoech becomes the second Brave to be named the PBC Runner of the Year, the first since Pardon Ndhovu won the award in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012.
The PBC Elite 15 Award is presented to the student-athlete competing in each of the Peach Belt's 15 championship sports with the highest overall cumulative GPA. Based on the NCAA Elite 90 Award, it is presented by EAB.
Joy Diaz becomes the first Clayton State student-athlete, in any sport, to receive the PBC Elite 15 Award. A senior from Riverdale, Ga., she holds a perfect 4.00 GPA with a major in theater. She was named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District team and has twice been named PBC All-Academic. On the course she has competed in all four meets for the Lakers this season with a 12th-place finish at the Jaguar Cross Country Invitational. She also competes on the Clayton State track and field team.
Brian Skoglind is the eighth Bobcat to receive an Elite 15 Award, but is the first to do so in men's cross country. A junior from Cumming, Ga., he was the recipient of the 2016-17 D2ADA Academic Acheivement Award, named twice to the PBC All-Academic team and a two-time PBC Presidential Honor Roll Gold Scholar. On the course he ran two meets for the Bobcats in 2017 at the Valdosta State Border Clash and the Bobcat Invitational. He has two career top-10 finishes.
Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year
Katherine Yost, Georgia College
Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year
Silus Kipkoech, UNC Pembroke
PBC Elite 15 Award presented by EAB
Joy Diaz, Clayton State
Brian Skoglind, Georgia College
PBC All-Sportsmanship Team
Augusta - Josh Thompson
|Augusta - Lara Way
Clayton State - Hailey Budd
Columbus State - Olivia Ivings
Flagler - Kayla McNamara
Francis Marion - Jasmine Watson
Georgia College - Brittney Schwind
Georgia Southwestern - Ashleigh Owens
Lander - Naila McConnell
UNC Pembroke - Samantha Badami
North Georgia - Kim Toscano
USC Aiken - Amber Laughinghouse