Oct. 11, 2006
ORLANDO - The UCF cross country teams will split this weekend as the varsity men and women travel to the Furman Invitational on Saturday and the women's "B" squad races at the Stetson Invitational on Friday.
After capturing the Disney Classic title on Oct. 7, the men remained at 10th in the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association South Region Poll for the second consecutive week. The Golden Knights continued to be led by junior and Oviedo, Fla. native Dustin Hicks, who ranks second all-time at UCF in the 8K with a personal best of 25:16.39. Senior Brent White (Boynton Beach, Fla./Santaluces HS) has consistently run at UCF's No. 2 position this fall, while twin brother Ryan White (Boynton Beach, Fla./Santaluces HS) has finished at No. 3 for the Golden Knights in two of the three meets.
Other strong individual performances have from juniors Paul Fitzpatrick (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard HS) and Paul Nielsen (Oviedo HS) and sophomore Daniel Conn (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic HS). Last weekend, Fitzpatrick was only two seconds off his previous personal best of 26:08.91, which he set at the Mountain Dew Invitational, while Conn bested his previous personal record of 26:48.46 by over ten seconds. Earlier this fall, Nielsen ran a personal best of 26:16.55.
Freshman John Horst (Christiansburg, Va./Christiansburg HS) and junior Matt Clements (Oviedo HS) will also be in the men's lineup in South Carolina.
Eight women are set to join the men at Furman. The reigning Conference USA Athlete of the Week, freshman Jenny Clausen (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial HS) has run No. 1 all season for the Golden Knights and recently moved to sixth all-time in the 5K with a time of 18:31.20. Also consistently among the team's top three are sophomores Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS) and Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora HS).
UCF's upperclassmen - juniors Karen Kozub, Allison Palmer and Elizabeth Miller - have also made significant contributions by scoring in the meets. Senior Christina Jones (Coral Springs HS) and freshman Erica Weitz (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro HS) round out the lineup.
On Friday at the Sperling Sports Complex in DeLand, Fla., nine other UCF women will race at the Stetson Invitational, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Junior Kristen Zieminski (Sarasota, Fla./Riverview HS) led the same group to a third place finish at the FlaRunners.com meet in Tampa, Fla. two weeks ago.
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