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Columbus State Named Preseason Favorite in Men's Cross Country

For the third straight year, the Columbus State men’s cross country team has been selected as the preseason favorite in a poll of the league’s head coaches released today. The Cougars were the unanimous choice to repeat as PBC Champions, garnering every first-place vote they were eligible for.

The Cougars finished with 49 points, six ahead of second-place Clayton State. GCSU was ranked third with North Georgia in fourth.

The Columbus State men’s team captured their third straight PBC title in 2008 and hope to become the first PBC team to become the first four-time champion since Kennesaw State from 2001-04. The Cougars return four all-conference runners from the 2008 squad including David Marley, who was the PBC Individual Champion in 2008. Also back are Tim English, John Neill and Stewart Helton.

Clayton State has finished second in the PBC the last two years and hope to break through in 2009. All-Conference runner and 2007 PBC Individual Champion Walid Berkhedle will lead the charge for the Lakers. GCSU was third at the 2008 PBC and will look to sophomore Rob Manning and junior Erik Ottoson in 2009.

PBC cross country will have a different look for 2009 with new members Flagler College and the University of Montevallo. Flagler will bring both their men’s and women’s teams while Montevallo sponsors only women’s cross country. Armstrong Atlantic State will also revive their men’s program for the 2009 season.

The 2009 cross country season begins with selected events on Aug. 28 with the full schedule kicking in on Sept. 5. The season will culminate with the 19th annual PBC Championships on Oct. 24 in Pembroke, N.C. and hosted by UNC Pembroke.

Rank Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th Total
1. Columbus State 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 49
2. Clayton State 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 43
3. GCSU 0 2 4 1 0 0 0 36
4. North Georgia 0 0 1 5 1 0 0 28
5. Francis Marion 0 0 2 0 4 1 0 24
6. UNC Pembroke 0 0 1 1 1 4 0 20
7. Flagler 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 17
8. Armstrong Atlantic State 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7