Cross Country Laces Up for Black and Gold Invitational

Oct. 11, 2012

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By Erica Winston

ORLANDO, FLA. (UCFAthletics.com) - The Knights are gearing up to defend their home turf on Friday when the cross country team holds its only home meet of the season. The women will be not only defending their home but also last year's victory.

This year's meet will consist of a larger and more competitive field of 17 teams, including Miami, USF and Jacksonville.

"I'm looking to see how our team responds to the challenge of defending our home course," coach Paul Brown said. "I feel like we still have so much to prove to ourselves, to the state of Florida and to our conference. This week we have talked a bit about who we are as a team and as competitors. Hopefully everyone else can see it."

UCF will be led by freshman Anne-Marie Blaney, who is coming off her second first-place finish of the season at the FLRunners.com Invitational. In addition will be freshman Heather Classe, who finished in the top-five at FLRunners with a time of 19:14.60.

This meet will also be a tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Participants will all be running with pink laces in honor of survivors and those fighting the disease.

The women's 6k race begins at 5 p.m. and a men's 8k will follow at 5:40 p.m. Other programs attending the meet include: UNF, Rollins, Nova, PHCC, Florida Atlantic, Lynn, Palm Beach Atlantic, FIU, Bethune-Cookman, Florida Gulf Coast, FAMU, Stetson and Saint Leo.

Fans are encouraged to support the Knights in their quest for a second-straight victory. The meet, which is free admission and begins near the softball field, will serve as the regular season finale before the Knights head to the Conference USA Championships on Oct. 29.