Need For Speed

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF cross country team felt the need for speed on Saturday morning at the Mountain Dew Invitational. Redshirt senior Anne-Marie Blaney blazed to a first place finish while leading the Knights to a third place team finish.

Blaney collected her second individual title of the season with a winning time of 16:54.18. She finished more than 17 seconds ahead of the second place runner, while posted the second-fastest time in school history. The Ocala, Fla., native now hold the top two times in the event in school history.

Redshirt junior Holly Wooley joined Blaney as a top 10 finisher, posting a season-best time of 17:54.82 for eighth place.

Overall, six Knights posted season-best times in the 5K race, with Blaney and Wooley's times being just shy of personal bests.

"Let me tell you that the ladies did a great job today!" assistant coach Johnny Gray said. "To go from taking 6th place last year to 3rd this year is a great improvement! We as a team aren't really focused on other teams and what they can do or have done, we are focused on our own development and progress. We are getting to understand one another, working as a team and not focused on what we've done, but recognizing our hard work and what we've overcome! Everything else will take care of itself when we take care of the small things."

Rosie Chamberlain and freshman Brittany Gill both finished in the top 25. Chamberlain's time of 18:51.65 placed her 22nd, while Gill finished 25th with a time of 18:57.03.

Redshirt junior Marissa Codispodi, freshman Victoria Jung and junior Ashton McMurray each posted season-best times in the race. Codispodi finished in 19:12.04. Jung crossed in 19:36.84, while McMurray posted a final time of 20:24.74.

Just a few hundredths of a second separated the final two Knight finishers. Freshman Shiree Hinds crossed the line in 21:07.03, just ahead of junior teammate Laura Korsmit, who made her first 5k appearance with a final time of 21:07.68.

UCF's third place showing as a squad was its best team finish at the Mountain Dew Invitational since 2012. The Black and Gold's 85 points finished just behind host Florida and Jacksonville.

The Knights return to action on Oct. 7, heading to Tallahassee for the FSU Invite.