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UNG Women's cross-country wins PBC crown; places nine on PBC All-Academic team

UNG womens cross-country PBC champs
The UNG women's cross-country team won their first-ever Peach Belt Conference Oct. 21 at Fort Benning, Georgia

The University of North Georgia (UNG) women's cross-country team won their first-ever Peach Belt Conference (PBC) championship on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Fort Benning, Georgia. After finishing in second place in each of the last three PBC championships, the Nighthawks placed all five of their scoring runners in the top 12 for 42 points, 10 ahead of second-place Augusta University to win their fifth meet of the season.

Brittany Truitt shattered the University of North Georgia 5K record by 22 seconds and finished second overall with a time of 17:31.5. Jenna Sanborn was seventh overall with 18:17; Emma Brown placed 10th, Emily Sims finished 11th and Makayla Ellis was 12th.

Truitt became the 11th runner in PBC history to be named a four-time All-Conference honoree and one of seven UNG runners named to the PBC All-Conference team. Jenna Sanborn, Emma Brown, Emily Sims, Makayla Ellis, Kenedi Rodney and Olivia Terwilliger were also named to the all-conference team after the race by finishing in the top-15 in the championship race. 

Truitt's record-breaking time surpassed the previous record of 17:53 set by Irina Watkins in the 2005 Conference Championship. Truitt now holds seven of the top-10 5K times in the school's history.

UNG's Tom Williams was also named Coach of the Year for the first time in his career in a vote of the league's head coaches taken after the race.

"We were favored going into the meet, which can place pressure on a team," said Williams. "The team responded to the challenge in a dynamic way. Eleven of the 12 runners that raced Saturday had personal bests. I was pleased and proud of them."

The Nighthawks will now move forward to the NCAA Southeast Regional meet on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Wingate University in Charlotte, North Carolina. The top three teams from that meet will go to the championship meet Nov. 18.

UNG also placed nine runners on the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic team. North Georgia and Georgia College led the conference with nine honorees each.

The nine Nighthawks named to the 46-player team were Sarah Buckler, Maria Coughlin, Makayla Ellis, Aleah Johnson, Jenna Sanborn Emily Sims, Kim Toscano, Brittany Truitt and Andie Whitfield.

To be eligible for the PBC All-Academic team, a student-athlete must participate in at least half of his/her team's events and be either a starter or significant contributor; achieve a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) and complete at least one full academic year at his/her current institution and has reached sophomore athletic eligibility.

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