Cross Country Travels to FSU Invitational

Sept. 16, 2005

ORLANDO - After strong performances in their season debut in Gainesville, the UCF cross country teams are focused on continuing to improve as they travel to the FSU Invitational in Tallahassee on Saturday.

Some of the top teams in the nation are scheduled to compete in the meet. Among the 17 men's and 19 women's squads entered are Auburn, Texas A&M, Clemson and Georgia Tech as well as in-state rivals like host No. 20 Florida State, Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic.

The UCF men, who are ranked 15th in the latest U.S. Cross Country Coaches' Association (USCCCA) South Region poll, placed third in the season opening Gator Invitational on Sept. 9. Led by freshman Chris Mullaney, all eight athletes finished in under 27 minutes. Mullaney placed 16th at 25:36.05, the fastest opening time in program history and No. 5 in the UCF record books.

Brothers Brent and Ryan White also posted personal best times under 26 minutes a week ago and continue to work hard toward improving their times.

Seniors Ray Gossage and Chucky Jones, sophomores Paul Fitzpatrick and Paul Nielsen and freshman Daniel Conn round out the men's lineup and all recorded personal best times of under 27 minutes in Gainesville.

"The men are going to face some tough competition this weekend racing against ranked teams like Auburn, Texas A&M and Florida State," said head coach Marcia Mansur-Wentworth. "They have continued to work very hard and are fired up for this meet."

The UCF women will once again be led by senior Andrea Morrow, who ran a personal best of 18:43.38 last week at the Gator Invitational in Gainesville. Morrow finished 20th and will be counted on heavily this week to lead the way once again.

Sophomore Allison Palmer is also coming off a strong performance at UF, where she shaved one second off her previous personal best for a top 40 showing. Freshman Jamie Rzepecki had a strong collegiate debut as UCF's No. 2 runner with a time of 19:12.63.

Meanwhile, sophomore captain Karen Kozub is looking improve upon the season opener after taking 41st with a time of 19:23.01. Her classmates Elizabeth Miller and Kristen Zieminski did not participate in the Gator Invitational last week, but both will be on starting line at FSU.