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Brittany Truitt enters Saturday’s Peach Belt Conference cross country championship with a lot of motivation.

Not only is this the Villa Rica native’s final conference championship meet, but the North Georgia senior is looking for some redemption from her last outing.

Truitt, a former standout at Alexander High, didn’t run her best at the Bobcat Cross Country Invitational in Milledgeville against her top competitor. Although she went 22 minutes, 38 seconds to place third, Katherine Yost went 21:44.9 to finish first break her own school record.

“It really didn’t go good for me that day,” Truitt said. “I had a real stressful week at school. Coming into conference, it gives me a lot of motivation. I know I’m a lot stronger athlete than what I showed that day.”

Truitt and her North Georgia teammates will get a chance to show it at the conference championship in Fort Benning, which will be hosted by Columbus State. The championship will be contested over a 5k course, the first time the PBC has held a 5k in the championship since 2008.

“It is definitely exciting and some nervousness because this is my last one,” she said.

But Nighthawks coach Tom Williams is definitely confident in his captain’s ability to compete.

“She has meant a whole lot to our team as far as character and ability,” Williams said. “She is a leader for this team not only as a runner but for her guidance for the younger runners. She is everything that you can ask for in a senior.”

Last season, North Georgia placed second at conference and are considered by many to be a favorite to claim its first Peach Belt Conference title. Truitt has an opportunity to become only the 11th women’s cross country runner to be named all-conference four times.

She she ran the fastest 5k in the Peach Belt in 17:55.1 at the UNG Invitational and has not finished lower than third in any race.

“She has definitely put in the training this season,” Williams said. “Nothing in cross country is guaranteed. She knows it won’t be easy.”

On the heels of the conference championship, Truitt and her teammates received some good news.

Nine Nighthawk runners were named to the conference All-Academic team. To be eligible for the All-Academic team, a student-athlete must achieve at least a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average.

Truitt is set to graduate in May and return next season as a graduate assistant to the program.

She transferred to North Georgia after one season at Alabama. Truitt is also a standout distance runner on the school’s track and field team.

“It was definitely a blessing for me to come here,” Truitt said. “I’ve had the opportunity to compete. I’m looking forward to next year when I can help mentor the younger runners on the team.”

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