Richardson Leads the Way in Knights First Big 12 Championship

by Alex Clough

AMES, Iowa – Competing in its first Big 12 Championship, the UCF cross country team battled throughout, staying with the pack en route to an 11th-place finish. Isabella Richardson led the way for the Knights in 50th with a time of 21:25.8, capping off an excellent sophomore campaign in Black and Gold.

I thought we had a good race, I thought the squad put in the effort. Fifty-five points separated fifth from 11th which just shows you how good this conference is. It was snowing a bit at the beginning, but the team battled through and I know they put everything on the line.

Bryan Harmon

Through the halfway mark, Rodriguez led the way for the Knights in 35th with a 3000m split of 10:20.7. Richardson wasn’t too far behind in 45th as the New Zealand native led following the first, 1000m split, and a time of 3:22.1. A trio of Knights slotted in from 81st to 83rd, as Charlotte Crook, Ali Del Re, and Lillian Holtery trailed Penelope Sosa in 63rd.

Rodriguez and Richardson, two of the Knights' top performers this season, grew closer together down the stretch. Rodriguez crossed the finish line a few strides behind Richardson in 51st with a time of 21:27.9. Each has been vital for UCF throughout its inaugural Big 12 season and today, in the frigid conditions of Ames, both impressed among a stacked field.

Fellow sophomore, Penelope Sosa was outstanding, placing 62nd with her time of 21:47.2. Lillian Holtery wasn’t too far behind as the Niceville, Fla., native continues to produce consistent performances each race. Through the four splits, Holtery continued to rise, going from 95th following 1000m to her eventual 70th place finish and a time of 22:07.1.

Competing in her final conference championship for UCF, Crook’s time of 22:14.0 and a 75th place finish rounded out the five Knights among the top 75. Del Re (22:23.8), Abby Clements (22:23.0 and Paige Jaszczak (22:40.1) each put up good times as each secured a top-100 finish.

BYU’s first-place finish prevented Oklahoma State, whose men’s team won their fourth consecutive title, from a three-peat. Hosts Iowa State rounded out the top three while the Cowgirls’ Taylor Roe took home the individual crown with her time of 19:35.4.

The Knights will now move their attention towards the NCAA South Regional Championships in Gainesville, Florida, on Nov. 10.


50. Isabella Richardson (21:58.8)

51. Mariana Rodriguez (21:27.9)

62. Penelope Sosa (21:47.2)

70. Lillian Holtery (22:07.1)

75. Charlotte Crook (22:14.0)

82. Ali Del Re (22:23.8)

89. Abby Clements (22:32.0)

97. Paige Jaszczak (22:40.1)

104. Brenna Mullaney (22:49.5)

110. Riley Jaszczak (23:07.9)