Big Win For Blaney

NCAA South Region Results

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( – Redshirt senior Anne-Marie Blaney made history on Friday morning, becoming the first Knight to win an NCAA South Region title.
"I'm really happy with my performance today," Blaney said. "I felt really strong coming home and wanted redemption for NCAAs a couple years ago. It feels great to be a regional champ after taking the conference title too, but it's not over yet! Next stop, NCAA Championship."
Blaney shaved nearly seven seconds off her winning mark from the American Athletic Conference Championships, crossing the line with a time of 20:07.2. She now holds the top five fastest 6K times in program history.
At the halfway point, the Ocala, Fla., native sat in fifth place, but began to make her move. With 1000 meters remaining, she had moved up to second, with only Auburn's Veronica Eder ahead of her. Blaney made her final push down the stretch to finish 1.4 seconds ahead Eder and claim the first regional title in school history.
Blaney, who has now finished in the top five at the NCAA South Region twice in her career after taking fourth in 2014, will represent UCF at the NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 19.
"We're always teaching Together Everyone Achieves More - that's the acronym for TEAM," Coach Johnny Gray said. "They displayed that today. Anne-Marie came out victorious and brought the Knights home a regional victory. I couldn't be prouder of this group of ladies."
The Knights finished 18th as a squad. Junior Rosie Chamberlain joined Blaney in the top 100, crossing in 22:20.0 for 97th place.
"Everyone went in knowing there was no pressure, just do the best we could individually," Chamberlain said. "I feel like we did better than we did at conference. Everyone did really well. Some people turned in huge PRs. Now we'll try to build on that momentum going into track season."
In her first NCAA South Region appearance as a Knight, freshman Victoria Jung posted a personal-best time of 22:33.1.
"It felt really good," Jung said of her best finish on the team. "I definitely wanted to PR in the 6K. Coming through the 5K mark, I saw PR times and I knew I could keep going."
Redshirt junior Marissa Codispodi posted a season-best time of 23:05.7. Junior Kalleigh Forrester rounded out the scoring with a time of 23:25.5, while freshman Brittany Gill passed six runners in the final kilometer to post a time of 23:26.1