Men Fourth, Women Ninth at C-USA Cross Country Championships

Oct. 29, 2005

Complete Women's Results in PDF Format
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Complete Men's Results in PDF Format
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LAKE BUENA VISTA - Paced by the impressive efforts of freshmen Chris Mullaney and Jamie Rzepecki, the men earned fourth place and the women took ninth place at the 2005 Conference USA Cross Country Championships hosted by UCF at DISNEY'S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS® Complex on Saturday morning.

The Golden Knights collected 115 points in the men's race to finish fourth in the eight-team field. UTEP took the team title with 23 points and the Miners' Patrick Mutai captured the individual crown with a time of 23:35.26. Rice was second with 54 points followed by Tulsa in third.

With a time of 25:12.66, Mullaney broke his own school record in the 8K by three seconds to place 13th overall and earn third-team all-conference honors.

"I'm happy but also disappointed because I thought I would able to pass two of the runners in front of me," said Mullaney following the race. "There is definitely room to improve. I would like to be able to put together a better race at the regional meet."

In addition to Mullaney, UCF's second and third runners also posted personal bests in the 8K. Junior Ryan White finished 20th with a time of 25:47.04, while sophomore Paul Fitzpatrick placed 26th at 26:04.23. Junior Brent White was a step behind Fitzpatrick with a time of 26:09.19 for 27th place.

Senior Ray Gossage rounded out the Golden Knights' scoring as he finished 29th at 26:15.03.

"I was very pleased with how the men raced," said UCF head coach Marcia Mansur-Wentworth. "Everyone of our athletes gave good quality efforts. To place fourth in this conference is very respectable."

On the women's side, UCF earned ninth with 227 points as Rzepecki topped the lineup with a finish of 35th in a season best time of 18:52.83. It was the second time this season that she ran at the Golden Knights' No. 1 spot.

"I felt good throughout the rest and didn't really feel tired," said Rzepecki. "I was focused on running my best and just kept going."

Another freshman Shantile Blackburn ran at No. 2 for UCF and shaved over half a minute off her previous personal best with a time of 18:59.79. She placed 39th overall.

At the Golden Knights' No. 3 spot, senior Andrea Morrow took 45th at 19:13.92 followed by sophomore Karen Kozub in 52nd at 19:25.68. Sophomore Allison Palmer cap off the scoring for UCF with a 56th place showing and a time of 19:35.63.

"I was a little disappointed," said Mansur-Wentworth. "We had some great individual performances from Jamie and Shantile. We just didn't find the help we needed at the four and five positions."

UAB's Elizabeth Ambrus took the top individual honor with a time of 17:02.95, but Rice earned the team title with 46 points. The Blazers were second with 57 points and SMU (86), Tulsa (101) and Southern Miss (145) rounded out the top five squads.

The Golden Knights return to action at the NCAA South Regional in Gainesville on Nov. 12.