Knights, Palmer Claim Titles at Black & Gold Invit

Sept. 13, 2008

Complete Results

Meet Results

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Senior Allison Palmer led a pack of Knights across the finish line as UCF's cross country team claimed six of the top eight spots and took the title at the Black & Gold Invitational Saturday morning at the UCF Cross Country Complex. It was the second meet in the past two weeks the Knights have hosted on their new course.

"We are very excited about the win at home," said assistant coach Tyangela Sanders. "We have made history here at UCF by winning this meet in the first year having this course. The ladies made tremendous strides from last week."

UCF finished the event with 19 points as a team, 21 points ahead of second-place Miami (Fla.) with 40 points. Flagler (102), Warner Southern (119), Rollins (139) and Bethune-Cookman completed the field. Miami cruised to the victory in the men's event with six of the top nine finishers, including the meet individual winner Ryan Woodlee.

"[Allison Palmer] is our team captain and she knows what it takes now to get to the top," said Sanders. "We are very proud of her performance leading the team."

A fifth-year senior from Oviedo, Fla., Palmer earned her first career victory by finishing the 5K race in 19:31.92, besting junior Erica Weitz by less than three seconds. Weitz posted her second-straight top-10, finishing in 19:34.72. Freshman Katrina Skinner had the best race of her young career, claiming third place in 19:35.74.

"It was really exciting to win the race," said Palmer of her first career victory. "I am really proud of the team. I think everyone improved from last week. I am excited about the program running more records out here in the coming years."

After two runners from Miami crossed in fourth and fifth, another trio of Knights claimed the next three spots. Kathia Skinner (20:02.11), Shannon Kelly (20:04.65), and Ocean Cohen (20:18.54) finished in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Shantile Blackburn (21:07.43) and Carly Dart (21:22.61) rounded out the UCF runners in 11th and 14th respectively.

"Kathia and Katrina [Skinner] really stepped it up, said Sanders. "They were having issues adjusting to the training and everything, but they have really put it together and showed their potential. Carly Dart also showed significant improvement from last week."

The Knights return to action next Saturday, Sept. 20 when they compete in the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., at 8 a.m.

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