Lady Cougar Runners Win Conference Crown

LUMBERTON, N.C. — Columbus State placed three runners among the top 11 women here Saturday morning and raced to the 2005 Peach Belt Conference championship — a first for any CSU cross-country team.

In the men’s race, the favored Cougars finished a somewhat disappointing third.

Janet Chepkonga, as she has done all season, paced the Lady Cougar squad and finished second overall. She posted a time of 18:07 to finish 14 seconds behind individual champion Irina Watkins of North Georgia. Isabel Zamora (19:11) finished fourth, and freshman Andrea Lewallen (20:35) finished 11th. All three runners earned All-PBC honors by virtue of their finish among the top 13 runners.

Michelle Keltz (21:07) was 17th, Eunic Mutwol (21:30) 23rd, Shannon Ferguson (22:21) 33rd, and Danielle Reid (22:59) 41st to round out the CSU team. The Lady Cougars posted a team total of 57 points to finish 24 points ahead of host UNC Pembrok at 81. Clayton State was third at 86, Lander fourth at 89, and USC Aiken fifth at 123. Augusta State, North Georgia, GC & SU, and Francis Marion rounded out the team standings.

In the men’s race, CSU was challenging for a win until Cedric Harris dropped out of the race and failed to post a score. The team ended up third by one point with a total of 50 points. Heavily favored Moses Kosgei ended up second in the individual standings, falling by 11 seconds to Clayton State’s Bobby Valdez. Kosgei posted a time of 25:10. Adam Pugh also posted a strong finish, coming in fourth with a time of 25:45. Kosgei and Pugh earned All-PBC honors by finishing in the top eight.

Edwin Koech finished ninth with a time of 27:09, missing All-PBC honors by one position. Justin Haynes (28:12) was 17th, Ben Jones (28:20) 18th, and Matt Crippen 33rd to round out the CSU finishers.

Clayton State won with a team total of 31, while host UNC-Pembroke took second with 49. GC & SU was fourth with 98, followed by North Georgia and Francis Marion.

Clayton State’s Mike Mead was named men’s Coach of the Year, while UNC Pembroke’s Larry Rogers was honored as women’s Coach of the Year.

CSU will now return home in preparation for the NCAA Southeast Regional to be held on Saturday, November 5, in Dade City, Fla.

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Lady Cougars Named Preseason Favorites

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Jay Sparks and his Columbus State Lady Cougar basketball team have yet to play a game, but the squad has already earned the respect of other Peach Belt Conference coaches with its pick as the favorite to win the league championship in the annual preseason coaches poll released Friday.

Sparks returns a nucleus of four players from last year’s team, including the three top rebounders, and will also get Karina Pulici, the leading three-point shooter in the 2003-04 season back after she sat out last season with a knee injury. Those players, coupled with what Sparks calls maybe his best recruiting class ever, have expectations high around the CSU program.

Tabasha Taylor (10.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is the leading returning scorer, while Cherwonna Walker (10.1 ppg, 10.1 rgp) and Erin Gibbs (10.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) also return. That nucleus of starters, along with guard Erin Holder and Pulici, give Sparks a great foundation to build from with his group of 10 newcomers. Among that group are seven transfers and three true freshmen.

Heading the list of newcomers is 6’6′ post player LaShonda Allen. Allen last played at the University of North Carolina and has one year of eligibility remaining. Joining her is 6’2′ Marquita Greene, a guard with tremendous athletic ability, out of Gulf Coast Community College. In all, the Lady Cougars will boast their tallest squad ever, with seven players standing 5’11’ or taller.

‘For the first time in a while, we have some significant depth,’ said Sparks. ‘There will be some wonderful battles in practice to see who gets the starting nod.’

Sparks will be replacing top scorer Lucia Heston, as well as the point guard position and he says that as the team prepares for its November 4 opener at the Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic ‘…nothing is set and all positions are up for grabs.’

‘We are much more athletic than we have been the last couple of years. We really have some players that can run the floor and can defend for the full 94 feet. Honestly, it will take us a little while to all get on the same page, but with a commitment from our players and a drive to get better, we will be okay for the long haul,’ Sparks added.

CSU garnered 98 points in the poll, grabbing eight first-place votes. Clayton State was second with 88 points, while Georgia College and State University was third with 73. Armstrong Atlantic State, UNC Pembroke, Augusta State, USC Aiken, Francis Marion, North Georgia, USC Upstate, and Lander round out the poll.

CSU will open the season against traditional Division II power Southern Indiana at Disney and then will face either one of two top-10 teams in North Dakota or Merrimack. The Lady Cougars’ first home game is not until the December 3 PBC clash with Armstrong Atlantic State.

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CSU Places in Florida Golf Invitational

ORLANDO, Fla. — Columbus State fired a final-round team total of 295 here Tuesday, finishing third in the Coker College Invitational.

Florida Southern followed Monday’s 277 with a solid 283 on Tuesday to win the event with a score of 560 (-16). West Florida fired a 280 to jump over CSU and finish second, four shots off the pace. CSU and Rollins finished in a third place tie at 574 (-2). St. Edwards was fifth at 577.

Florida Southern’s Greg Koch fired his second straight 67 to win medalist honors. Brandon Kuban followed Monday’s 67 with a 72 on Tuesday to finish tied for fourth overall. Christian Ries shot 71 to finish at 141, tied for 11th. Kyle Albright and Evan Scanlan each shot 76 in the final round and tied for 39th, while Andrew Georgiou carded a second straight 76 to finish tied for 62nd.

CSU now turns its attention to its own event, the Aflac/Cougar Invitational set to begin Monday morning at the Country Club of Columbus. The 18-team field features seven squads that finished in the nation’s top 20 last season, including two-time defending national champion USC Aiken.

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Men Win Basketball Conference Championship

Augusta, GA…Columbus State University worked its Peach Belt Conference Tournament magic for the sixth time here Sunday claiming the championship with a 93-81 win over USC Upstate. The Cougars became the first team in league history to win after playing a first round game, and were first to defeat two top-seeded teams. CSU now has six tournament titles, while three other schools have won two each. Yandel Brown, who broke several tourney records for Columbus State, was named MVP of the event after dropping in 38 points in the finale.

‘We lost to Kennesaw State in the finals last season and we were not going to let that happen again,’ said Brown. ‘We played aggressively on both ends of the floor and we became a family out there in this tournament. We have become a lot closer as a team over the last four games and that has made a big difference in our team.’

CSU trailed just twice in the first six minutes of the game but took the lead on a Brown trey with 13:47 to play in the first half and never gave it up. The Cougars used a 13-4 run later in the half to pull out to a nine-point advantage – 37-28 – and would lead by 10 two times in the final two minutes of the half before settling for a 45-37 lead going into the locker room.

The Cougar women lost in overtime in their bid win the championship game, but both teams made it to the national tournament.

For more information, go to the Cougars Sports Net at

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CSU Cheer Team Repeats As National Champions

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — For the second year in a row, the Columbus State University small co-ed cheer squad has captured the Universal Cheer Association’s Division II National Championship. Coffeyville Community College was second, and Delta State University placed third in the eight-team finals.

The 2004 squad won the title in the school’s first year entering a small co-ed squad. The 2005 group kept the tradition alive by sticking its routine and bringing another title back to Columbus for cheer coach Jimbo Davis.

The large co-ed squad was gunning for a national title, but wound up finishing third in the competition behind defending champion West Georgia and second place Slippery Rock. CSU has finished no lower than third in the competition over the past four years.

The CSU Cougar Heat dance team also competed in the Universal Dance Association Championships held at the same venue and brought home its best finish, coming in ninth place in the competition. The Cougar Heat Hip Hop squad took fourth place in the Open Hip-Hop category.

Both the cheer and dance squads will now turn attention to the Peach Belt Conference competitions coming up at the PBC Basketball Championships in Augusta in the first week of March.

For more information, visit the Cougar Sports Net at

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Faculty/Staff Invited to Aflac Day Saturday at Lumpkin Center

Columbus State University will host all Aflac employees and their families to a fun-filled day of activities highlighted by a doubleheader Basketball game featuring the CSU Men and Women Cougars versus USC Aiken.

CSU faculty and staff are invited to participate in all actvities during the day, which will include:
Girls Softball Clinicages 6 to 10
Soccer Clinicages 6 to 12
Baseball Clinicages 6 to 12
The CSU Theatre Department will present Schoolhouse Rock specifically produced for family fun. This will be presented in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the CSU campus at 11 am and again at noon.
The CSU Music Department will provide a Petting Zoo of musical instruments for all ages.
The CSU Criminal Justice Department in partnership with the Muscogee County Sheriffs Department will provide a Safety Station for children ages 2 to 13. At this station, parents will have the opportunity to have their children finger-printed. Parents will also receive an identification card, which will ONLY be maintained by their family. There will be no database complied as a result of this Safety Station. Parents will also receive information on the retention of these documents (fingerprints, identification card and photo) as well as how to prepare a home DNA sample pack.

Please note that in order for everyone to enjoy these activities, we ask that you register early. This will provide CSU the necessary time to prepare as well as communicate when capacities have been reached.

All activities are compliments of Columbus State University. Please see the agenda and registration form below.





NAME: ______________________________


Please register us for the following:

Girls Softball-How many? ____
Name(s) _________________________________
Soccer —How many> ____
Name(s) ______________________________________
BaseballHow many? _____
Name(s) ________________________________
Schoolhouse Rock
o 11 AMHow many? _____
o NoonHow many? ______
Petting Zoo—Open
Safety Station
o Name(s) ____________________________ Age(s) ___________________________
Basketball GamesHow many? _____

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Kids Safety Station Featured at Upcoming Basketball Games

The CSU Criminal Justice Department in partnership with the Muscogee County Sheriffs Department will provide a Safety Station for children ages 2 to 13 at the next three Saturday home basketball events in the Lumpkin Center on Jan. 15, Jan. 29, and Feb. 5.

At this station, parents will have the opportunity to have their children finger-printed. Parents will also receive an identification card, which will ONLY be maintained by their family. There will be no database compiled as a result of this Safety Station.

Parents also will receive information on the retention of these documents (fingerprints, identification card and photo) as well as instructions on how to prepare a home DNA sample pack. For more information, contact John Hargrove at 706-565-4343.


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CSU Baseball Again Playing For National Championship

The Columbus State University baseball team is playing for the national championship for the second time in three years. In 2002, the Cougars won the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship, and the team is back in Montgomery Ala. this week to repeat the feat.

Following Sunday’s opening round, 10-8 win over Kutztown (Pa.), and a second round loss to Delta State, the Cougars next game is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the NCAA Division II baseball championship finals in Montgomery, Ala.

Two losses in the tournament means an elimination.All times are Eastern Standard Time.

For more information, and updates, go to Cougar Sports Net at


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CSU Cheer Squad Wins National Championship

One of two Columbus State University cheer teams competing at the UCA Collegiate National Championships won the school’s first national title in cheer.

Columbus State University cheer coach Jimbo Davis’s small co-ed squad – competing in that category for the first time – won the championship Jan. 17.

The Cougars’ primary squad earned a second-place finish. The runners-up spot is the second in a row for CSU after taking second in 2003.

The runner-up finish marks the fifth straight year the CSU squad has finished in the nation’s top three. The program has steadily risen from an all-girl squad less than 10 years ago to an extremely talented, nationally-competitive co-ed squad.

For more information, please see Cougar Sports Net


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CSU Will Pack The House Wednesday During Special Basketball Doubleheader

CSU hosts North Florida in a Peach Belt Conference basketball double header Wednesday during a night packed with special events. Officials hope the night will pack the house and set an attendance record at the Lumpkin Center.

First and foremost, the night has been set aside to permanently honor the memory of Jed Bedford, the team’s captain who suddenly collapsed and died last month. Jed’s #22 jersey will be retired in a ceremony prior to the men’s game. The night had been previously set aside as Pack the House Night, and with Jed’s death, it has taken on a new significance.

Officials also will re-dedicate the huge flag displayed in the Lumpkin Center and will have many guests on hand from Blanchard Elementary School. We will have a special ceremony to show our appreciation for allowing CSU to display this special symbol of national pride and patriotism permanently in the Lumpkin Center.

Parking is expected to be at a premium, so car-pooling is suggested. Officials also encourage CSU staff and students to use parking lots throughout campus.

If all campus lots fill, then parking will move to Peachtree Mall in the area of CB &T and a shuttle will transport fans to the Lumpkin Center. There will be plenty of signage and personnel directing people where to park.

The game also will have the usual promotions for those in attendance, with CSU students having a chance at the Best Buy Best Seat in the House, and the Bill Heard Cadillac Shootout for campus organizations. There will also be a United Way/CSU Athletic Fund drawing for a large-screen TV to be given away at the final home game. Tickets are $1 and may be purchased at any game all season long.

The Cougar Heat dance team will perform for the final time in front of the home crowd before going to Orlando to compete in the UDA National Collegiate Open Dance Championships, as well.

Foxie 105 will also be on hand for a live remote beginning at 5 PM.

Tipoff for the women’s game is a 5:30 PM against the #2- ranked Ospreys, with the men to follow about 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to CSU students, faculty and staff with university identification. For the public, adult tickets are only $5, children are $3.

For more information, contact Sports Information at(706) 569-3434.

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CSU Basketball Teams Take on Rivals Tonight in Lumpkin Center

The CSU men’s and women’s basketball teams take on conference rivals Kennesaw State tonight in the Lumpkin Center. The women play at 5:30 p.m. and the men follow with a tipoff at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5, but CSU faculty, staff and students are admitted free with a university ID card. For more information, call (706) 569-3434.

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CSU Basketball Teams Play At Home Saturday; Several Special Events Scheduled

Cougar fans will finally get a chance to see the CSU men’s basketball team in action in the Lumpkin Center this Saturday, along with the Lady Cougars, as they open the Peach Belt Conference schedule with UNC Pembroke. The women’s game will tip at 1 p.m., with the men to follow at 3 p.m.

There are several promotions going on.

First, it is Military Appreciation Day and all military personnel will be admitted free with ID. Second, it will also be Valley Rescue Mission Food Drive Day. Anyone bringing three cans of non-perishable food items will be admitted free with the food benefiting the efforts of the Valley Rescue Mission.

Thirdly, the Best Seat in the House contest for CSU students will be instituted on Saturday with the lucky winners treated to a seat in recliners at courtside and also several other great prizes provided by several sponsors. Another event that will tip off will be the Bill Heard Halftime Challenge in which student organizations will shoot for cash to benefit their organization, provided by Bill Heard Cadillac and Premium Used Cars.

A raffle will also begin which will last all season for a Large Screen Television, provided by Best Buy, to be given away at the final home game of the year. Tickets may be purchased as often as one likes for $1 each throughout the season, and the drawing will be held at the February 25 game against GC & SU. The proceeds will be halved between the CSU Athletic Fund and United Way.

For more information, contact Sports Information Director Mike Peacock at (706) 569-3434

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Women’s Soccer Comes to CSU

Columbus State University President Frank Brown and Athletic Director Herbert Greene in November officially announced the addition of women’s soccer as the tenth sport in the CSU athletic program.

The team will begin play in 2004 under the direction of the program’s first coach, Jay Entlich, former head coach of the Carolina Courage of the Women’s United Soccer Association.

For more, please see the complete story on Cougar Sports Net at Women’s Soccer Comes to CSU.

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CSU’s Candace Turner is Georgia’s NCAA Woman of the Year

Indianapolis, IN…Columbus State University’s Candace Turner received an unexpected, yet deserved honor on Friday as the NCAA announced its annual State Winners for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. Turner was selected from a pool of nominees as the Georgia state winner for 2003. She will be honored, along with the other winners from all the states plus the District of Columbia at the Woman of the Year dinner in Indianapolis on November 1.

Over 340 student-athletes who completed their eligibility in 2003 were nominated by their institutions. From those nominees, a committee comprised of representatives from member schools selected the state winners. The award honors not only athletic performance, but also academic achievement and community involvement.

Turner, the team captain for the Lady Cougar basketball squad for the past two seasons, graduated in June with a 3.5 GPA in Early Childhood Education. She received the 2003 Charles Eason Leadership Award at CSU and, as a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha sorority, had the highest GPA of any member. In addition to those achievements, she was the team’s leading scorer for the last two seasons and was an All-Peach Belt Conference selection for both of those years. CSU won an amazing 108 games in her four-year career, including two trips to the Division II Elite Eight, two South Atlantic Regional Championships, two PBC regular season titles, two PBC Tournament titles, and earned the school’s first-ever number one ranking during the remarkable 31-1 season of 2000-01. With Turner as a member of the team, CSU never posted less than 21 wins in a season.

‘We are so proud for Candace,’ said CSU head coach Jay Sparks. ‘I can’t think of anyone who deserves an award like this more than her. She has truly been a wonderful ambassador for our program and continues to do so.’

See the full story at CSU’s Cougar Sports Net Web site at

See the NCAA’s story:

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CSU Men’s Basketball Wins Conference Tournament Title

Jed Bedford and John Thomas combined for 46 points to lead Columbus State University to a 72-56 victory over Kennesaw State in Sundays (3/9) Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship basketball game held at the Lumpkin Center. Columbus State (27-4) earns the leagues automatic bid to the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional as the Cougars won their fifth PBC Tournament title and set a school record with their 27th victory of the season. For more, go to

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CSU Baseball Team Wins National Championship

The Columbus State University baseball team won the Division II National Championship June2 in Montgomery, Ala. with a 5-3 victory over the No. 1-ranked team in the country. The win capped an amazing tournament for the Cougars, who lost their first game but then won the rest of the way during a series of heart-stopping games.

See the complete story on Cougar Sports Net at


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