COLUMBUS – Running in its second home match of the season, the Columbus State University men’s and women’s cross country teams won commanding victories in the Cougar Invitational on Friday night. The races were held at CSU.
The Lady Cougar runners claimed their third straight team title and fourth in five races this season, outpacing the competition by 17 points. Georgia Southwestern finished second with 43, while Georgia Military College (93) and Fort Valley State (104) rounded out the field.
Breaking the tape once again was Rayna Green, who outdueled teammateKaitlynn Howard to take the title by three-quarters of a second. Green won her third race of the year in 12:54.22, while Howard played the Alydar to Green’s Affirmed with a 12:54.97 pace.
Sydney Tenney (3rd, 12:56.31) and Kayla Parsons (4th, 13:07.32) posted top five finishes for CSU. Cassie Ward (7th, 13:30.89), Linette Cepeda (8th, 13:33.47),Jessica Young (10th, 13:37.37) and Rachel Dixon (12th, 14:09.01) also ran for the Lady Cougars.
The Cougar men dominated a match race with Fort Valley State, sweeping the top six positions for a perfect score of 15. In his best finish as a collegiate runner, freshman Kane Barrett broke the tape for CSU in a time of 13:45.95.Jelani Omari captured the silver in 14:04.12, while Trenton Parham took third with a time of 15:07.03.
Columbus State will now turn its attention to the league’s grand prize, as the Cougars and Lady Cougars will run in the Peach Belt Conference Championship on Saturday, Oct. 24. The CSU men are defending PBC champions, while the women look for thier first title since 2010. The race will be held on the same Dahlonega, Ga. course that CSU’s team each posted top-five finishes on Sept. 19.
Full results here.