Blaney Wins 10,000 Meters at The American Outdoor Championship



May 2, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

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TAMPA, Fla. - The UCF track & field team started strong on Friday at the inaugural American Outdoor Championship with sophomore Anne-Marie Blaney earning the gold medal in the 10,000 meters with a time of 34:47.24. Click here to watch the replay of the finish at the USF Track & Field Stadium.

"I kept telling Anne-Marie at her splits to stay patient early in the race, because UConn (Lauren Sara) was setting a pretty good pace," said assistant coach Johnny Gray. "She waited (in second place) till lap 14 or 15 before making her move. She finished strong by staying consistent with her form and trusting her training. I am very proud of the fantastic race that she ran."

Blaney registered the second fastest time of her career to top Emily Durgin from UConn, who entered the meet with the top time in the conference. The Ocala native became the first conference champion for UCF in the 10,000 meters since Sonja Shedden accomplished the feat at the 2003, 2001 and 1999 A-Sun (formerly known as TAAC) Championship.

The Knights also picked up 11 points in the team standings after senior Destinee Romain and sophomore Kalen Hambrick registered the third- and fourth-best marks in the hammer throw. Romain took the bronze medal with a toss of 55.29m/181-05, while Hambrick's best was a foot shorter.

UCF is third in the team competition with 21 points, one point behind Louisville. SMU leads the meet with 47 points following the first day, which was delayed by four hours due to inclement weather in the Tampa area.

Sophomore Heather Classe ran in the 3000m steeple chase for the first time in her career and finished 11th.

The Knights start day two of the championship on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. with freshman Siaina Campbell competing in the javelin. Junior Amelia Williams competes in 1500 meters at 4:30 p.m. to begin the running trials, where the top eight move on to the finals on Sunday.

Friday Results at The American Outdoor Championships
Tampa, Fla. - USF Track & Field Stadium

3000 Steeple Chase
11. Heather Classe - 12:06.07

10000 Meters
1. Anne-Marie Blaney - 34:47.24

Hammer Throw
3. Destinee Romain - 55.29m/181-05
4. Kalen Hambrick - 55.04m/180-07