FLORENCE, S.C. – Both Francis Marion University cross country squads are prepped for the 21st-annual Peach Belt Conference Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships, Saturday morning (Oct. 22) at Pacer Path in Aiken, S.C.
The women’s 6,000-meter race will start at 10 a.m., followed by the 8,000-meter men’s race at 10:45 a.m. Admission is free.
Ten women’s squads will vie for the conference title, while nine schools sponsor men’s cross country. Four of the men’s programs are regionally ranked, while three PBC women’s squads appear in the regional Top-10 rankings.
Sophomore Whitney Wagner has been the women’s top finisher for the Patriots in four of five races this season, including two Top-10 finishes. Senior Samantha Smith turned out a team-best 5,000-meter time of 21:59 last weekend at the Wingate Pre-SAC Invitational to place ninth.
Other runners on the team include sophomores Diana Levy, London Barnhill, and LaMeisha Jackson and freshman Allyson Franklin.
The Patriot men have been led by junior Ian Wallace in each meet this year including two Top-10 finishes and an 8,000-meters season-best time of 28:47 recorded at the Pacer Invitation on the championship course back in September. Senior Ryan Woloszyn, junior Justin Albertson, sophomores Michael Bigelow and Braylen Bloise, and freshmen Justin Carter, Alex McIntosh, Cody McDonald and Justin Koehn round out the men’s runners.
Columbus State comes into the meet having reeled off five straight men’s titles along with six consecutive women’s titles.