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Cross Country Opens Season at FAU Invitational

by Alex Clough

ORLANDO – The UCF women’s cross country team begins a new era on Friday night as the squad, led by first-year assistant coach Bryan Harmon, will embark on its first race as a member of the Big 12. The Knights will compete in the FAU Invitational for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, making the short trip south to Boca Raton to compete alongside a field consisting of 14 other Florida programs and the University of Bahamas.

The race is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET from South County Regional Park. Live Stats are available here.

After a successful five seasons under former UCF Track and Field/Cross Country assistant coach Bryan Jackson, head coach Dana Boone announced Harmon as the new distance coach on Aug. 7. The former Stetson cross country head coach welcomes in four newcomers, along with a talented returning core led by fifth-year Charlotte Crook. Three of the four freshmen move to Orlando from Europe, as Karin Dobiasch (Germany), Abigail Stratton (England) and Hannah Taylor (Scotland) join sophomore Isabella Richardson (New Zealand) as international athletes. Abby Clements, hailing from Pinellas Park, Fla., rounds out the freshman crop.

The aforementioned Richardson made her mark in 2022, shattering the freshman 5k record (17:12.38) at the UCF Invite. The performance is fourth in program history in the event, as the New Zealand native hopes to continue her dominance and build on an already impressive resume. Along with Richardson, sophomore Penelope Sosa took the top spot at last season’s FAU Invitational, running a 17:55.3. With the field resembling 2022’s edition, Sosa is all the more capable of repeating on Friday.

Two others from the remarkable freshman squad of last season are twins, Riley and Paige Jaszczak, who both saw top-10 finishes in Boca Raton in 2022. Paige (fifth) ran an 18:40.4 while her sister Riley wasn’t too far behind and came in sixth, running an 18:41.1. With two seasons at UCF under their belt, Lillian Holtery and Mariana Rodriguez, provide experience for the young squad.


Ave Maria



Florida Atlantic

Florida Golf Coast

Florida International




Nova Southeastern

Palm Beach Atlantic

St. Thomas



University of Bahamas

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