UCF Cross Country Dominates Black & Gold Challenge


Sept. 10, 2010

Complete Results

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By Pat Salvas

Complete Results in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With eight of the first ten runners to cross the finish line, the UCF cross country team started its 2010 season with an impressive performance at the Black & Gold Challenge. The race took place on the 5K UCF Cross Country Course with senior Ocean Cohen placing first with a time of 20:04, helping her team to the win with 23 team points.

"We had some personal records," said cross country coach Paul Brown. "We had some better finishes in the first race this year than last year, which is good. That is positive progress moving forward.

"I commend Rollins. They really pushed Ocean in the first half of the race, and again at the end. I am pleased with the overall performance of this team today," Brown added.

Friday was a dual meet format that featured UCF competing against Rollins. The Tars posted 38 points on the strength of their two top runners finishing second and third, respectively.

Finishing as the second Knights runner, Sierra Solaun was the first of seven consecutive UCF harriers to cross the line. Solaun's time of 21:07 was just four seconds back of the third place runner, Rollins' Justine Falcone.

Carley Dart was finished just behind Solaun, posting a time of 21:09, good for fifth overall.

Mason Gardberg (21:33, 6th) Alyssa Franks (21:44, 7th), Danielle Scaffidi (21:56,8th) and Ne'Ausha Logan (22:22, 9th) rounded out the scoring for the Knights.

Gardberg's time was 24 seconds faster than her previous 5K personal record.

Christina Goodwin of Rollins was the 11th runner, but earned 10 points as the third member of her team to cross the line.

"It was a good opener and I was excited about today's race," track & field and cross country coach Caryl Smith-Gilbert said. "Everyone looked extremely fit. The way that they ran the race, they looked very strong and very fit. We will just take today, and build from it. Every week, we will shoot to get faster."

The race marked the debut for coach Brown at UCF.

"I definitely learned that we need to employ a little better strategy when it comes to the middle part of the race," Brown said. "Most coaches know that the beginning and the end are kind of standard for their athletes, but the middle is important too. This course is a little bit different than it was last year, so it was much more difficult for the athletes."

The Knights will next run on Friday, Sept. 17 when they travel to Gainesville to compete at the Mountain Dew Invitational. UCF will return home in two weeks for its final home meet of the season when it hosts the Knight Attack Cross Country Invitational. That meet is slated for a 6 p.m. start time.