Champion In Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio (UCFKnights.com) - For the second time in her cross country career, redshirt senior Anne-Marie Blaney was the first to cross the finish line at the American Athletic Conference Championship. Blaney posted a winning time of 20:14 at the Voice of America MetroPark on Saturday.

The Knights collected six points in the War on I4 rivalry series with a fifth place finish. UCF placed five spots higher than USF and helped the Black and Gold reclaim a 12-9 lead in the rivalry series.

SMU (45) edged Tulsa (47) for the top team finish. Memphis (96) and UConn (145) joined the Knights in the top five.

Blaney, who captured the top honor in 2013, was one of the top three runners from the gun. She made a push heading into the final kilometer. Once ahead, the Ocala, Fla., native extended her lead and crossed the line nearly 10 seconds ahead of SMU's Hannah Miller.

"I came out today knowing not to take anything for granted and that anything could happen on the course," Blaney said. "I knew I just had to stay strong and run my race. It was a fast start, but about halfway through, I knew I had to make my move. The third and final lap helped me separate from the competition, and I was lucky enough to come home with the gold. I couldn't ask for a better finish for my last conference race."

Blaney's winning time of 20:14 is the second-fastest 6K mark in program history, and she now holds the top four 6K times at UCF.

Four additional Knights joined Blaney in the Top 50. Redshirt junior Holly Wooley was the second UCF finisher, posting a time of 22:14.8 for 35th place. Just behind Wooley was junior teammate Rosie Chamberlain, who finished 37th with a time of 22:19.7. Junior Kalleigh Forrester finished 47th with a time of 22:40.5. In her first collegiate 6K race, freshman Brittany Gill posted a time of 22:42.6 for 49th place.

Newcomers Victoria Jung (80th), Marissa Codispodi (83rd) and Shiree Hinds (94th) also competed for UCF on Saturday. Jung finished her first collegiate 6K in 23:51.4, while Codispodi's first 6K time as a Knight was 23:59.8 as the pair rounded out the scoring for the Knights. Hinds crossed in 25:05.4 for her first collegiate 6K race.

The Knights return to action on Nov. 11, travelling to Tallahassee for the NCAA South Region Championships.