Columbus State Cross Country Sweeps PBC Awards
AUGUSTA, GA – Friday was a very good day for the Columbus State cross country program, and nobody ran a step. Meshack Koyiaki was named the PBC men's Runner of the Year while Brittney Skiles was named the women's Runner of the Year. Coach J.D. Evilsizer was named Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's teams. The awards were presented at a banquet in Augusta on Friday on the eve of the 2010 PBC Championships, part of the Fall Festival.
Koyiaki earns his second consecutive PBC Runner of the Year award after sharing it with Clayton State's Fidelis Mutiso in 2009. He is the first PBC runner to repeat that feat since the award was based on votes prior to the PBC annual meet rather than race results in 2008. This season, the junior from Kilgoris, Kenya, emerged as one of the elite runners in all of Division II, winning each of the four races he entered including the massive Louisville Invitational, where he bested a field of nearly 300 runners in a time of 23:20, the fastest 8k run in the PBC this season. In fact, he ran the three fastest 8ks in the league this season and was a four-time PBC Runner of the Week. Koyiaki is also the defending PBC individual champion.
Like Koyiaki, Brittney Skiles becomes the first women's runner to repeat as PBC Runner of the Year since the award went to a voting system in 2008. The senior from Dawson, Ga., won two events in 2010: the Georgia Southwestern remembrance run and the Cougar Invitational. She led the Lady Cougars across the line in four of the team's five races this year and was tied with teammate Naomi Tanui for the fastest 5k in the PBC this season with an 18:11 she turned in at the Crimson Classic. She also ran three of the top five fastest 5ks in the Peach Belt this season. Skiles has been named All-Conference twice in her career and finished second at last season's PBC Championships. She has been named the PBC Runner of the Week three times this season.
J.D. Evilsizer becomes the first cross country coach to be named both the men's and women's Coach of the Year since Kennesaw State's Stan Sims in 2004. Now in his sixth season at Columbus State, he has built a dynasty with both programs. The men's team will be seeking their fifth consecutive PBC title while the women will be looking for their sixth in a row. This season, he has led the men's teams to a pair of victories and the team has been ranked in the national top 25 all year long. The CSU women's team has also been ranked in the top 25 this season, have maintained their #3 regional ranking for five straight weeks and also won two events. The men's Coach of the Year award is the second straight for Evilsizer and third overall while the women's award is his first.