Augusta State Wins First PBC Men’s Cross Country Championship
AIKEN, SC – Only two years after establishing a men’s program, the Augusta State Jaguars broke through on Saturday and won their first-ever PBC Men’s Cross Country Championship. The Jaguars had two runners in the top 10 and four runners in the top 12 as they finished with 57 points, edging out UNC Pembroke in the tightest finish in the PBC since 2000. Clayton State finished third while Columbus State was fourth and Georgia College fifth. UNCP’s Pardon Ndhlovu won the individual title with a time of 25:11. The race was held for the first time at the Pacer Path on the campus of USC Aiken.
Augusta State’s Dustin Ross was the first Jaguar to cross the line, coming in fourth with a time of 26:38. ASU was able to keep their top four runners within sight of one another over the entire hilly course as Jaiden Brandt was seventh in 26:58, Robert Blackwelder 11th in 27:11 and Matt Johnson 12th with a time of 27:14.
|UNCP's Pardon Ndhlovu won the men's 8k race in a time of 25:11.|
ASU’s grouping was just enough to edge out UNC Pembroke, who had the top two runners in the race. Ndhlovu and teammate Chris Schroll pulled away from the pack less than halfway through, with Ndhovu beating Schroll to the line by 25 seconds. A junior from Zimbabwe, Ndhlovu was not only the PBC Individual Champion, he was named the Runner of the Year, an award voted on prior to the championship recognizing outstanding achievement in the regular season. Ndhlovu was named All-Conference for the third time after finishing second in 2009 and third in 2010.
Clayton State’s Albert Mong’ony finished third in 26:20 as the Lakers finished third overall as a team. Flagler’s Michael Ross was fifth with UNCP’s Zach Bayless sixth.
Flagler’s Corey Mundy finished in eighth place and was the lowest finishing freshman in the field and was named the PBC Freshman of the Year. Mundy, who was also named second-team All-Conference, covered the course in 27:07. Flagler finished sixth overall in the team standings with Montevallo seventh, Francis Marion in eighth and Armstrong Atlantic State ninth.
UNCP's Gary Aycock was voted the PBC Coach of the Year by the league's head coaches.
The top seven men to finish the race were named first-team All-Conference while the 8-14 runners were named second team. Most of the nine teams who competed will next run at the NCAA Regional Championship on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Pardon Ndhlovu, UNC Pembroke
Chris Schroll, UNC Pembroke
Albery Mong'ony, Clayton State
Dustin Ross, Augusta State
Michael Lambert, Flagler
Zach Bayless, UNC Pembroke
Jaiden Brandt, Augusta State
Corey Mundy, Flagler
Tyler Mattix, Georgia College
Andrew Henderson, Columbus State
Robert Blackwelder, Augusta State
Matt Johnson, Augusta State
Charles Anderson, Clayton State
Daniel Horseman, Georgia College
Freshman of the Year
Corey Mundy, Flagler