Richardson and Rodriguez Lead the Way For Cross Country at Louisville Classic

by Alex Clough

LOUISVILLE, Ken. – Isabella Richardson led the way for the UCF cross country team as the squad’s performance at the Louisville Classic produced multiple season highs. The aforementioned Richardson, along with Mariana Rodriguez and Penelope Sosa, each crossed the finish line among the top 100 in a stacked field.

We've been battling some adversity this week but all-in-all we were much better than a month ago. Izzy reestablished herself as our number one and Charlotte was much better this morning, along with Penelope and Mariana who were great. We still need to work on some things ahead of Texas A&M and the Big 12 Championships, but overall I'm very proud of the team today.

Bryan Harmon

Richardson’s season-best time of 17:47.4 saw the freshman finish in the 38th, as she continues to impress following an absolutely superb first year in Orlando where she set the Freshman 5k record (17:12.4). Fellow sophomore Penelope Sosa had one of her best races in Black and Gold, rounding out the Knights top-100 trio in 77th with a strong time of 18:06.6.

Rodriguez put in a career performance in Louisville this morning, claiming 72nd with her time of 18:06.5, breaking her previous best by more than eight seconds.

Overall, the squad saw vastly better performances than their first meet almost a month ago, with coach Harmon stressing the gradual improvement that will lead up to UCF’s first Big 12 Championships. Fifth year Charlotte Crook ran a season-best 19:01.7 as she continued her path toward sub-19 seconds after missing the entire 2022 campaign.

Abby Clements made her UCF debut with a strong time of 19:02.3, claiming 194th as the lone Knights freshman. The twins, Paige and Riley Jaszczak, went back-to-back with times of 19:06.9 and 19.11.0. Lillian Holtery (18:31) and Ali Del Re (18:37.2), who ran a season-best finished the race just outside the top 100, placing in 118th and 134th.

The Knights came in 12th with 417 points, trailing Clemson in 11th and ahead of Xavier in 13th. Grand Valley State claimed the top spot with 58 points.

The Knights will regroup before making the trip out west for the Arturo Barrios Invitational for the season consecutive season on Oct. 13.