UCF Cross Country Opens Season with Second-Place Finish


Sept. 5, 2008

Complete Results

Meet Results

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Led by a sixth-place finish from junior Erica Weitz, the UCF cross country team placed second Friday evening in the Knight Attack Challenge, the inaugural event at the UCF Cross Country Complex. USF claimed the top three spots and won the event with 22 points.

"It was an exciting day in UCF cross country history hosting our first event on campus," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "The weather held up for us, and the coaches and runners from other schools said they loved the course because it was easy to see the runners, it has different kinds of terrain and is a safe course."

Embry-Riddle won the men's event with 18 points, finishing 21 points ahead of West Florida. Nick Gehlsen of Emrby-Riddle won the 8K men's race in 26:30.16 while USF's Allie Prendergast won the 5K women's event in 19:02.92.

Led by Weitz, who shattered her personal best with a time of 19:33.99, the Knights had four runners in the top 10. Allison Palmer placed eighth in 19:56.51, Ocean Cohen finished ninth in 19.59.42, and Shantile Blackburn was in 10th, finishing at 20:05.42. Shannon Kelly rounded out the scoring for UCF in 15th.

"I think the team did an awesome job on a very tough course," said assistant coach Tyangela Sanders. "We had an advantage here because it is our home and practice here. Erica Weitz did a very good job setting a personal best. We are excited for her and by leading the team she pushed the other runners as well."

After USF in the women's event, UCF placed second with 48 points, just ahead of Embry-Riddle with 50 points in third. West Florida and Rollins rounded out the field with 114 and 150 points respectively.

The Knights stay on their home course next weekend, hosting the Black & Gold Invitational on Saturday, September 13, at 10:00 a.m.

"Hopefully next week we can get a bigger turnout and have more people in the community come out and support us and see the new course," said Smith Gilbert.

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.