FORT BENNING, GA – The Peach Belt Conference will hold its 27th Cross Country Championships this Saturday on the base of Fort Benning, Ga. Columbus State University will host the event for the third time, the first since 2006. The championship will be contested over an 8k course, the first time the PBC has held a 8k in the championship since 2008.
The women will run first on Saturday morning at 9:00 am, the men will follow at 10:15. Admittance to the race is free, but those wishing to attend need to allow time to pass through security at Fort Benning. More information about gaining access to the base, directions and maps can be found here.
Augusta is the top-ranked PBC team in the USTFCCA polls at #3. The Jaguars have won all four races they have entered this season including the Wingate Bulldog Stampede and the Bobcat Invitational. Junior Daniel Broadhead has also won all four events he has entered and holds the fastest 10k time in the PBC as well as the second-fastest 8k time, which he set at the Bobcat Invitational. Senior Dylan Forester has two third-place and a sixth-place this year while freshman Jacob Poston was fourth at both the Bobcat Invitational and Jaguar Invitational.
UNC Pembroke enters the PBC looking for their first conference championship and are coming off a win at their most recent outing at the Florida State Invitational. The Braves have finished in the top five in four of their five meets this season. Freshman Silus Kipkoech has won all four events he has run and holds the fastest and third-fastest 8k times in the PBC this season. Junior Logan Ward was second at both the Elon Invite and the D2 Showcase while brothers Jonathan and Matthew Martin have finished inside the top five in four events and both hold top-10 8k times in the PBC.
Columbus State has finished in the top four in three of their four regular-season events with second-place finishes at the JSU Strut's Season Opener and their own Cougar Invitational, run at Fort Benning. Winners of seven PBC titles in the past 11 years, CSU is ranked ninth in the region in the latest poll. Sophomore Wright Calhoun has led the team at each event and holds the fifth-fastest 8k time in the PBC.
Georgia College won the Valdosta State Border Clash and the Winthrop Invitational and were second at their own Bobcat Invitational. Sophomore Shawn Olmstead was named a PBC Runner of the Week after winning at Valdosta while brothers Collin and Brennan Silliman have finished in the top three on the team in each event and both hold top-10 PBC 8k times.
Flagler is the defending PBC Champion and have finished in the top five of all four races this season with a second-place at the Florida Tech Invitational. Sophomore Trenton Liberty holds the fastest 8k time on the team which he set at the Florida/Mountain Dew Invitational. Junior Crisman Jones led the team at Valdosta State and was 10th at Florida Tech.
Clayton State finished in third place at both the Jaguar Invitational and the Cougar Invitational at Fort Benning. Junior T.J. Witherspoon has a pair of top-10 finishes, including ninth at the Cougar Invite. He was also the first Laker across the line at the Bobcat. Junior Ryan Polk also has two top-10s and was ninth at the Jaguar Invite.
Francis Marion finished in third place at the Koala Classic in their most recent outing heading into the PBC Championship. Javier Bustos Jaimes won that event and was third at the Carolina Challenge to open the season. Devin Nelson was fourth at the Koala and has two top-10s.
Lander returned to the cross country course for the first time since 2008. Running a roster of six freshmen and one senior, the Bearcats finished fifth three times, including at the Koala Classic in their most recent outing. Freshman Elvin Fortenberry has led the team across the line in two of their four events.
The PBC will provide a live video feed from the championships. To watch, please visit our YouTube channel here.