UCF Cross Country Earns Top-Three Finish at Mountain Dew Invitational



Sept. 15, 2012

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By Jenna Marina

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF cross country team impressed at the Mountain Dew Invitational on Saturday morning with its best finish at the meet in five years. The Knights claimed third among 18 teams at the Mark Bostick Golf Course with an average time of 18:53.82.

"I'm excited and enthused about this race, especially the team finish and most especially the team average time of 18:53. We had 11 runners today, and when you look at all of our times, that's the fastest meet we've had since I've been here," said Paul Brown, who has served as UCF's cross country coach since 2010. "The team executed exactly what I told them to do. One of the keys to our success is that our team is made up of all Floridians, so everyone knows the history and culture going into every meet. This meet is a highly respected meet in Florida. They have a lot of respect for it and know that it's a tough course. Since all of our meets this year in the regular season are in Florida, it's a little bit of an advantage knowing the course and knowing the culture of the meet."

Freshman Anne-Marie Blaney emerged as the Knights' top finisher for the second-consecutive week with a time of 17:49.51, which was 10 seconds shy of her personal best. At seventh place, Blaney was the top finisher from a program other than host Florida, as the Gators ran away with the top-six fastest times of the day.

Freshman Heather Classe was four seconds shy of topping her personal best with her 20th-place time of 18:40.21. Freshman Rachel Petrik clinched the Knights' third-best finish with a time of 19:11.74 for 30th overall.

Sophomore Shelby Blaes scored points for the Knights with a time of 19:21 (35th place) and freshman Amy Ankli fell in step behind her teammate with a mark of 19:26 (38th place).

Florida won the meet and North Florida finished runner-up to round out the top three.

The Knights will head back to Orlando in time for UCF's football home opener against FIU where Blaes, Jessica Pachay and Brittany McCord will be honored during the game for their work in the classroom as all three achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.75 or better during the 2011-12 school term.

The Knights will take a two-week break from competition before they travel to Titusville for the FLRunners Invitational on Sept. 28.



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