Cross Country To Compete in Great American Festival

Sept. 22, 2006

ORLANDO - The UCF cross country team travels to the Birmingham, Ala. area to race against some top competition at the Great American Cross Country Festival on Saturday morning.

The men are fresh from a strong season debut last weekend at the Mountain Dew Invitational, where the team took second. All of the UCF runners finished with times under 27 minutes, but junior Dustin Hicks (Oviedo HS) ran a personal best 25:16.39 to lead the Golden Knights.

Meanwhile, seniors Brent and Ryan White (Boynton Beach, Fla./Santaluces HS) finished at No. 2 and No. 3 in the lineup as Brent also posted a personal best 25:44.86 and Ryan recorded a 26:01.52. Junior captain Paul Nielsen (Oviedo HS) also ran a career best time of 26:16.55.

Both junior Paul Fitzpatrick (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard HS) and freshman John Horst (Christiansburg, Va./Christiansburg HS) also return to the lineup after impressive efforts at the meet.

While the women posted some great individual performances at the Mountain Invitational, the Golden Knights were disappointed by their sixth place showing and are looking for a solid team effort in Birmingham.

In her collegiate debut last weekend, freshman Jenny Clausen (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial HS) recorded a time of 18:35.49, which ranks second all-time among UCF freshman and sixth on the program's overall list. Sophomore Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin) posted a personal best of 18:54.32. The duo will be joined in the lineup by juniors Karen Kozub, Allison Palmer and Elizabeth Miller and sophomore Jamie Rzepecki.

The Golden Knights will compete in the Race of Champions, which also features Conference USA rival UAB, Florida State, Clemson, Samford, Auburn, South Carolina and Central Michigan. The men's race begins at 9:55 a.m. ET and the women's at 10:55 a.m. ET.

For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.