Knights Finish Fifth Against Tough Field at Florida


Sept. 20, 2008

Complete Results

Meet Results

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Led by a strong run by senior Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and personal best times by four different runners, UCF's cross country team placed fifth in the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. Florida, the host of the meet, took eight of the top 10 spots to win the event.

The Gators took the title with 17 points, 52 ahead of second-place USF. Tampa finished third (95) and Jacksonville fourth (118) before UCF (142) rounded out the top five in the field of 14 teams. UF's Genevieve LaCaze took the individual meet in 17:34.79.

"I was very impressed with the performance of Florida today in winning the race, and I was very impressed with our performance," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "Everyone ran a season best which is good because Florida course with a lot of inclines and declines. I was very impressed with everyone's attitude because they all strived to do their best. I look for these performances throughout the season because everyone does their best when it counts. One important thing I have stressed is it does not always matter if you cross the line first, but it matters if you gave 100 percent. I want them to give 100 percent in every aspect of life."

Blackburn paced the Knights, finishing in 16th with a personal-best 18:50.47. Fellow senior Allison Palmer (Oviedo, Fla.) came 25th, running the course in a personal-best 19:13.55. Junior Erica Weitz (Morganville, N.J.) carved nearly 17 seconds off her personal best and finished 29th in 19:17.18. Freshman Katrina Skinner (Tampa, Fla.) placed fourth for the Knights in 38th place, running the course in 19:41.77. Freshman Kathia Skinner (Tampa, Fla.) rounded out the top five for UCF, running a personal-best 19:49.17 for 43rd place.

"Overall I am impressed with the team," said assistant coach Tyangela Sanders. "Everyone ran a season-best time and overall we ran very well. Shantile [Blackburn] ran very well from the beginning and kept it going all the way through to the end. She stepped up as a senior and really led the team."

Shannon Kelly (Tampa, Fla.), Ocean Cohen (Sarasota, Fla.) and Carly Dart (Whitby, Ontario) rounded out the Knights' runners in 44th, 45th and 52nd respectively.

UCF travels to Tallahassee, Fla., next Saturday for the FSU Invitational. The event is slated to start at 7:30 a.m.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Mountain Dew Invitational
September 20, 2008
Gainesville, Fla.

Top 5 Teams
1. Florida
2. USF
3. Tampa
4. Jacksonville
5. UCF

Top 10 Finshers
1. Genevieve LaCase, UF 17:34.79
2. Ali Crabb, UF 17:36.99
3. Sara Petrick, UF 17:53.36
4. Jessica Forrester, Tampa 17:57.16
5. Jacy Kruzel, UF 18:07.61
6. Kaitlin Shiver, UF 18:14.49
7. Julie Northrup, UF 18:16.67
8. Yasmin Smith, USF 18:17.77
9. Laura Garrow, UF 18:19.33
10. Charlotte Browning, UF 18:20.88

UCF Finishers
16. Shantile Blackburn 18:50.47*
25. Allison Palmer 19:13.55*
29. Erica Weitz 19:17.18*
38. Katrina Skinner 19:41.77
43. Kathia Skinner 19:49.17*
44. Shannon Kelly 19:50.43
45. Ocean Cohen 19:50.90
52. Carly Dart 20:15.33

*= personal best