Tuscaloosa, Ala. — The Georgia State cross country teams concluded the 2011 season by competing at the NCAA South Regional meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Saturday morning. The women’s team placed 14th out of 27 teams and the men finished 15th out of 24.
“This was a great end to a great season,” said head coach Chris England. “Both teams ran strong and were excited for the race. The pressure was off because they knew we’ve had a good season regardless of how they finished.
Valentin Poncelet became the 20th runner in program history to earn All-Regional honors by finishing in the top 25. The sophomore placed 24th out of 159 runners in the 10K race. Last season as a freshman at American International College, Poncelet finished 10th at the Division II NCAA Regional.
“That just goes to show the depth of our team that anyone can step up on race day,” said England. “But I also want to commend all of our seniors. They’ve done an amazing job leading the team and they will leave some big shoes to fill next year.”
The team finishes are significant improvements from how the Panthers fared in 2010. The women placed 19th overall and the men only traveled four runners and did not place as a team. Anna Sinclair led the women with a 71st-place finish and Tyler Tomy placed 83rd for the men.
Both teams faced off against some of the top competition in the country. Florida State’s women are ranked No. 1 in the nation and their men’s team is ranked 16th. Vanderbilt’s women’s team is also ranked 4th in the nation.
“On the starting line, our teams were placed right next to the FSU teams,” said England. “We are a competitive team even against some of the best in the country.”