Cross Country to Compete in NCAA South Regional

Nov. 9, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After impressive performances at the Conference USA Championships two weeks ago, the UCF cross country teams line up at NCAA South Regional in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The event, which takes place at Lambert Acres Golf Club, begins with the women's 6K at 10 a.m. followed by the men's 10K at 11 a.m. The award ceremony is at noon.

Currently ranked a program best ninth in the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association South Region poll, the Golden Knight men are looking to be in the top 10 at the end of the race. Last season, UCF finished 15th after being ranked as high as 11th.

Third-Team All-C-USA honoree, Dustin Hicks (Oviedo HS) has run No. 1 for UCF all season and posted a personal best time of 25:16.39 in the 8K this year. Seniors Brent White (Boynton Beach, Fla./Santaluces HS) and Ryan White (Boynton Beach, Fla./Santaluces HS) have finished in the team's No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the last three races, narrowly missing all-conference honors at the C-USA Championships.

Junior captain Paul Nielsen (Oviedo HS) continues to have an impressive fall also recording a personal best of 26:16.55 in the 8K at the season opener. Also racing well for the Golden Knights are junior Paul Fitzpatrick (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard HS) and sophomore Daniel Conn (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic HS). John Horst (Christiansburg, Va./Christiansburg HS) is looking for a strong finale to his freshman campaign.

Led by freshman and all-conference third team selection Jenny Clausen (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial HS), the UCF women are seeking an improvement from last year's showing of 22nd. Earlier in the season, Clausen recorded a personal best of 18:31.20 in the 5K, which ranks her fifth all-time in the event.

Sophomores Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora HS) and Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS) have followed close behind Clausen much of the fall. A trio of juniors - Allison Palmer, Karen Kozub and Elizabeth Miller - will also lineup for the Golden Knights based upon strong performances throughout the year.

The top two squads at each of the nine regionals will earn automatic berths to the NCAA National Championships, while 13 at-large teams will be chosen by the NCAA Selection Committee. In addition, the top four individuals from each regional who are not members of qualifying teams will also receive bids.

The NCAA National Championships take place on Monday, Nov. 12 in Terre Haute, Ind.

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.