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Cross Country Teams Earn Top 20 Efforts at NCAA South Regional

Nov. 11, 2006

MARYVILLE, TENN. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF cross country teams improved upon their results from a year ago, finishing in the top 20 at the NCAA South Regional, which took place on the challenging Lambert Acres Golf Club course near Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday morning.

Ranked as high as ninth coming into the weekend, the Golden Knight men took 14th in the 25-team field with 392 points - moving up one spot from last year's finish. Leading the pack were senior Ryan White (Boynton Beach, Fla./Santaluces HS) and junior captain Paul Nielsen (Oviedo HS). White finished 67th at 33:51.70, while Nielsen ran a personal best in the 10K at 33:58.5 for 73rd. Senior Brent White (Boynton Beach, Fla./Santaluces HS) finished just behind him in 74th with 34:07.10.

Rounding out the scoring for UCF were juniors Paul Fitzpatrick (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard HS) and Dustin Hicks (Oviedo HS). Fitzpatrick placed 84th at 34:24.3 and Hicks was 94th at 34:38.50.

"We got some solid races from Ryan and Paul Nielsen," said UCF head coach Marcia Mansur-Wentworth. "Dustin has been running well all season and put a lot into the conference meet. It is hard to recover after such an effort."

Florida State won the men's side with 67 points followed by Alabama (88 pts.) in second and Florida (100) in third. Mississippi's Barbas Kirui took the individual title with a time of 30:43.1.

The UCF women, who landed 22nd a year ago, took 16th of 23 squads with 442 points. Freshman Jenny Clausen (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial HS) led the Golden Knights for the sixth time this season as she placed 48th in a time of 22:46.60 in the 6K. Sophomore Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora HS) also ran well in the No. 2 position and earned 78th in a personal best 23:48.41.

Also finishing among the top 100 runners was junior Allison Palmer (Oviedo HS), who took 94th at 24:20.2. Sophomore Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS) and junior Elizabeth Miller (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek HS) also scored at 109th and 114th, respectively.

"I was pleased with how the women ran, especially considering we had no seniors in the lineup," Mansur-Wentworth said. "Both Jenny and Jamie ran well and this is certainly an experience for a young team like ours to improve upon."

Georgia claimed the women's crown with 35 points with Florida (70 pts.) in second and event host Tennessee (80) in third. Florida State's Susan Kuijken won the individual title at 20:54.1.

The NCAA South Regional capped off the season for the Golden Knights.

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