Oct. 27, 2011
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By Jennifer Hock
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - In preparation for Monday's Conference USA Cross Country Championships, the Knights have been doing more than their usual daily routine of running.
For the past 11 days, distance coach Paul Brown has encouraged a different team member to share a motivational quote at team-building meetings. On Wednesday, Amelia Williams selected the following African proverb:
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle...when the sun comes up, you'd better be ready to run."
The team erupted into applause.
"That stood out because it's about performing when you have to," Brown said. "It's about survival."
It has been two weeks since the Knights won the Black and Gold Challenge on UCF's campus. Brown has tried to make the most of the team's down time by supplementing their practice schedule with team building exercises.
"They put in a whole lot of work. They deserve to do well," Brown said as he looked to improve each runner personally and athletically. "We're gearing up and we're going to be at our sharpest, at our peak, at our best for conference."
The Knights travel to Houston for the championships on Monday at 11 a.m. The eight runners competing for UCF include: freshmen Cody Castillo, Teresa Huff, Jamie Perzanowski and Williams and sophomores Danielle Scaffidi, Jessica Pachay, Erica Winston and Ne'Ausha Logan.
"I sense a level of excitement. I sense a level of freshness," Brown said. "They are gaining more confidence. This is exactly how you plan the year to go. We're just fine tuning and tweaking some things mentally, and I think it's going to pay off. I'm very excited to see what's going to happen."