After last season’s two top-20 finishes and an eighth-place finish in the Sun Belt Conference Championship, cross country is ready to run it back with familiar faces and new signees.
During the 2022 offseason, the Panthers signed three runners on the squad. Sacha Brickley of North Gwinnett and Sabrina Quintanilla of Duluth were the Georgia-bred signees. Ana Cubillo of Aranda de Duero, Burgos, Spain, rounded out the incoming class.
Graduate student Emma Devis decided to run it back and return to add to her 2022 Sun Belt distance medley relay championship. Devis is also in search of another chance at the cross county title in Foley, Alabama.
The season would commence in September in Oxford for the Foothills Invitational 4000-meter run. Devis led all Panthers as she finished 31st with a time of (15:36.75). Senior Frankie Muldoon wouldn’t be far behind, as she finished 39th with a PR of (15:49.08).
Georgia State finished with four runners setting new personal records and had three top-50 finishers in Devis, Muldoon and Erica Hambecker at 48th.
Up next for the Panthers was the all too familiar North Alabama Showcase 5000-meter run. Once again Devis led all Panthers with a time of (18:56.26). Hambecker and junior Anouk Prop set new personal bests with times of (19:32.71) and (19:57.54), respectively.
The team totaled 856 points, placing them 29th in the entire showcase, a slight decline from the 16th-place finish in last season’s showcase.
The Panthers had two weeks of rest until they had to make the journey back to Alabama, this time competing in the Skyhawks Valley Invitational. Georgia State achieved 48 points and finished first overall for the first time in the 2022 season.
Muldoon led the way securing a personal best of (18:17.6) and a fourth-place overall finish. She was not the only one as Cubillo (18:50.2), Hambercker (18:50.) and Prop (18:54.3) secured the seventh through ninth spots to claim victory.
Riding the victorious wave, the Panthers headed to Foley for their shot at the Sun Belt championship. The initial day of the competition was pushed back because of inclement weather and when the race began the weather was still unfavorable.
The weather may have been a big factor because not a single Panther finished in the top 50. Devis led the way finishing in 56th place with a time of 19:20.5. Muldoon came in at 67th, finishing at 19:58.7.
Southern Miss would take the 2022 Sun Belt championship with three top-10 finishers and a total of 44 points.
Georgia State tallied 349 points which placed them at the bottom of the 12 teams in the entire Sun Belt conference. A very disappointing end to the regular season but the Panthers will have a shot to redeem themselves in postseason play.
Georgia State will have the opportunity to display its hard work and training in the NCAA South Regional Championship that will be held on Nov. 11 in Huntsville, Alabama.