Cross Country Faces In-State Rivals in Regular Season Finale

Oct. 13, 2005

ORLANDO - The UCF cross country teams race at the Stetson Invitational on Friday in DeLand in their final tune-up prior to the Conference USA Championship. Competition begins with the women's event at 4:30 p.m. followed by the men's at 5:10 p.m.

Coming off his second consecutive C-USA Athlete of the Week honor, freshman Chris Mullaney is focused on keeping his streak alive as the No. 1 runner for the Golden Knight men. Earlier this month at the Loyola Lakefront Invitational, he broke the school record in the 8K with a time of 25:15. Last weekend, he won the Disney Classic at 25:39.96.

Juniors Brent White and Ryan White have been flipping between the No. 2 and No. 3 positions throughout the season. At Disney on Oct. 8, Brent finished 15th at 26:22.06, while Ryan was 23rd at 26:40.43.

Since posting a career best of 26:24.53 in the season opening Gator Invitational, sophomore Paul Fitzpatrick continues to be consistent, while his classmate Paul Nielsen has also run well with a season best of 26:31.58.

The men's squad will be without senior captain Ray Gossage and senior Chucky Jones.

The members of the UCF women's team are still jockeying for position as the season winds down. Only senior Andrea Morrow has recorded to races as the Golden Knights' No. 1 runner and she will sit out the Stetson meet to rest for conference.

In her absence, the Golden Knights will be looking for other runners to step up their efforts. Sophomores Allison Palmer paced the UCF pack at the Disney Classic a week ago with a 24th place finish and a time of 19:20.29. Freshman Shantile Blackburn, a natural middle distance runner who hadn't competed in cross country prior to this year, ran No. 2 and posted a personal record of 19:33.12.

After leading UCF at the Loyola Lakefront Invitational on Oct. 1, freshman Jamie Rzepecki finished fifth in the team's lineup and focused her sights on returning to the top.

Both teams are scheduled to face some familiar foes on the course, including former A-Sun rivals Steston and Jacksonville as well as Bethune-Cookman and Florida International.