UCF Cross Country Places 11th at C-USA Championshi

Nov. 1, 2010

Read John Denton's Knights Insider | Follow us on Twitter | Get social with the Knights on Facebook

By Pat Salvas
TULSA, Okla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior Ocean Cohen's (Sarasota, Fla.) 45th-place showing in a personal-best time of 18:31 paced the UCF cross country team at the 2010 Conference USA Championships hosted by Tulsa at the Indian Springs Country Club. The Knights recorded 334 team points to finish 11th in the league.

Tulsa, hosting the event for the first time, scored 27 points to claim its first conference crown. After UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo took first place for the second-straight year, the Golden Hurricane claimed the next three spots to secure the title. Rice and UTEP rounded out the top three teams at Monday's championships.

"I'm really proud of Ocean and the way she ran," cross country coach Paul Brown said. "She was great today and all season long, but she really was our MVP today."

Cohen's time was nearly five seconds faster than her previous career best.

Sophomore Alyssa Franks (Tampa, Fla.) was the second UCF finisher, crossing in a personal-best time of 19:07. Senior Carley Dart (Whitby, Ontario) was the third runner for the Knights to cross the line, doing so in 19:28.

The final two UCF runners to finish in the scoring were freshmen Danielle Scaffidi (Northport, Fla.) and Erica Winston (Long Beach, Calif.) in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Scaffidi's time of 19:38 bested her previous personal-best time by 10 seconds, while Winston cracked the top-five for the first time this season with her own personal-best finishing time of 19:42.

"I'm disappointed in our placing," Brown said. "But I can't be mad when we had so many runners with personal and season bests."

"It was a bittersweet day for me," track & field and cross country head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "I was excited to have six of eight post personal bests. I am not happy with an 11th-place showing because I know that we are a better team than that."

Freshmen Sierra Solaun (Gainesville, Fla.) and Ne'Ausha Logan (Long Beach, Calif.) finished 81st and 84th, respectively. Solaun crossed in 19:51, while Logan's time of 19:55 was yet another personal-best time. Sophomore Mason Gardberg (Englewood, Fla.) rounded out those running for the Knights with an 86th-place finish in 20:09.

"The team is disappointed in their finish, but overall is pleased with how fast they ran as a whole. The entire conference ran incredibly fast today and you can see that in the times," Brown added.

"This is a very young team, with six members running in their first collegiate conference championship. I am pleased that with such a young team they were able to come out and post strong times," Smith Gilbert said.

UCF will be represented in NCAA South Regionals on Nov. 13 in Birmingham, Ala.

"We are going to continue to pursue recruiting long-distance specific runners and that is exciting for the future of this program," Smith Gilbert said. We are going to be ready for Regionals and then turn our attention to the indoor and outdoor track seasons."

Place Points Team (Average Time, Total Time)
1. 27 Tulsa (16:51 1:24:13)
2. 57 Rice (17:12 1:26:00)
3. 97 UTEP (17:30 1:27:26)
4. 102 UAB (17:38 1:28:08)
5. 132 SMU (17:50 1:29:06)
6. 141 ECU (17:56 1:29:40)
7. 201 Houston (18:19 1:31:35)
8. 211 Southern Miss (18:23 1:31:52)
9. 233 Tulane (18:31 1:32:35)
10. 293 Memphis (18:56 1:34:37)
11. 334 UCF (19:18 1:36:26)
12. 381 Marshall (19:39 1:38:11)

1 45 Ocean Cohen - 18:31
2 65 Alyssa Franks - 19:07
3 71 Carley Dart - 19:28
4 74 Danielle Scaffidi - 19:38
5 79 Erica Winston - 19:42
6 (81) Sierra Solaun - 19:51
7 (84) Ne'Ausha Logan - 19:55
8 (86) Mason Gardberg - 20:09