Cross Country to Compete at Southern Conference Championships Saturday
STATESBORO, Ga. The Georgia Southern cross country team is gearing up for this weekend’s Southern Conference Championships, which will be held in Cullowhee, N.C., on Saturday, October 27.
The Eagles are confident that they can improve on last year’s 10th place finish. GSU’s road has not been an easy one, running against some of the top teams in the country. Earlier this season the Eagles posted a sixth place finish at the Bulldog Stampede in Athens, Ga and backed that up with strong performances at the Auburn and Furman Invitationals.
Senior Abby Bloom has paced the Eagles this season. The Snellville, Ga. native has crossed the finish line first among all Eagles in every meet thus far. Two weeks ago, Bloom had an average mile time of 6:22 in the 5k race at the Furman Invitational, for a total time of 19:46. It was her second fastest overall time this year, with her fastest coming at the Auburn Invitational. In fact, Bloom’s finish at Auburn (19:00.45) gives her the sixth best time in school history in 5k meets. She currently owns the school record in the 6k event, which she set in 2005. Last year at Auburn, she improved her personal best 5K time to 18:48.06, which stands as the third best time in GSU history.
Sophomore Laura Fuller (Cartersville, Ga.) and junior Shauntel Jennings (Stone Mountain, Ga.) have both contributed to GSU’s success this season. Fuller and Jennings have been pushed by Bloom’s guidance on the course and it shows, with Fuller’s top time of the year (19:39.59) coming at the Auburn Invitational. Fuller’s time at Auburn leaves her just outside the top-10 in the Georgia Southern record books behind former runner Melissa Burnette. Fuller has been the second Eagle runner to cross the finish line in 3-of-5 meets this season and Jennings has two second place finishes. Jennings set a personal best at Auburn with a time of 19:56.69.
Chattanooga won the team title a year ago and looks to repeat, but will be challenged by a deep field on the women’s side. Davidson currently has three of its runners in the top five and four in the top 10. Caroline Sanker of Davidson has the fastest time in the conference this year (17:05) and her Wildcat teammate Brenna Burns is right behind her with the second fastest time (17:20).
The Appalachian State women’s cross country program has won nine titles, including seven straight from 1986-1992. The Mountaineers are followed by Furman and defending champion Chattanooga, who each own five titles. Davidson claimed the 2003 crown.
The WCU Cross Country Course begins at Charles Schrader Field, adjacent the Catamount Athletic Complex (CAC). Runners will wind around the mountainous on-campus course with spectators rarely losing sight of the competition. The event will conclude on the soccer field in plain view of the grand stand seating area at the CAC with a level grade sprint to the finish line.
The women’s race will begin at 10 a.m. at the Catamount Athletic Complex in Cullowhee, N.C. Admission to the event is free to the public.
Category: Cross Country
Published on Friday, 26 October 2007 15:02