Knight Attack Challenge Set for Friday

Sept. 4, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF cross country team will get its 2008 season underway on Friday afternoon, hosting the inaugural meet at the new UCF Cross Country Complex. The Knight Attack Challenge, the first of two home meets for UCF, is slated to begin Friday at 4:30 p.m. The collegiate men will follow with an 8K race at 5:00 p.m.

Both the start and finish lines of the course are located near the UCF Softball Complex on North Orion Boulevard. Team and spectator parking will be in lot E8 across from the complex.

"We are very excited to host the Knight Attack Challenge this week," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "We are glad the weather has held off allowing us to host the event. A lot of competitive teams coming to both this meet and next week's home meet. I look forward to watching the Knights wear black and gold in the inaugural meet at our home course. The meet will be the first of numerous times to prepare for the Conference USA Championships."

The meet currently includes five men's teams and six women's teams, with 53 male and 72 female student-athletes competing. Bethune-Cookman, Embry Riddle, Rollins, South Florida and West Florida will field teams in both the men's and women's events, while UCF will compete in the women's race.

UCF welcomes back a group of eight runners from the 2007 team, led by seniors Shantile Blackburn, Kelly McNeil and Allison Palmer. Juniors Jaclyn Johnson, Shannon Kelly and Erica Weitz and sophomore Ocean Cohen also return to add depth to the roster. The coaching staff is also excited about a trio of newcomers, junior Carly Dart and freshmen Kathia and Katrina Skinner.

"Our runners have been working hard all preseason to prepare themselves," said assistant coach Tyangela Sanders. "I think getting to open the season in front of their peers on campus has given a little extra motivation in their training, and they are excited to get the season underway."

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.