UCF Complete Results
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
TAMPA, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF cross country team opened its season with an exclamation point as one of its own won the USF Invitational in Tampa on Friday. Freshman Anne-Marie Blaney ran away with first place in a time of 18:36.59, crossing the finish line ahead of the pack by more than 20 seconds.
"She definitely has started a good path for herself by winning her first meet," UCF cross country coach Paul Brown said. "I'm very proud of her in the way she competed and to win the race - that's huge. I want to see her continue to grow as a runner and continue to learn where and when to push and what her limits are."
As a team, the Knights finished second behind Tampa by just four points. UCF competed against nine programs, finishing ahead of FIU, Florida Atlantic, Miami and USF.
In addition to Blaney, the Knights boasted two other freshmen who finished among the top 15. Heather Classe was UCF's second top finisher at seventh place with a time of 19:45.22 and Rachel Petrik clocked in at 13th place with a time of 20:06.24.
Freshman Amy Ankli finished fourth among the Knights and 22nd overall with a time of 20:42.76 while sophomore Amelia Williams rounded out UCF's top five with a time of 20:48.10 for 24th place overall.
"Overall, I'm pretty pleased, especially in light of how bad the footing was here. The conditions were muddy and there was a lot of rough footing even though it was sunny and warm," Brown said. "We showed some good things, especially from our top five finishers. I think Amelia Williams did a good job stepping up today. Shelby Blaes, this was her first race in two years, so I'm pretty pleased she was able to contribute. I'm just glad she's back."
UCF next heads north to Gainesville on Sept. 15 for the Mountain Dew Invitational.