Nov. 10, 2011
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By Jennifer Hock
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - If history is any indication, then the outlook for the NCAA Cross Country Regional Championships this weekend looks bright for UCF.
Unlike most races during the season, the regional is a 6K race. In their only 6K race this year, The Black and Gold Challenge, the Knights put together their best effort of the season for a first place finish.
"We have a challenge in front of us, but I told them I want them to give and deliver their best effort. We're trying to have a better performance than our home meet," distance coach Paul Brown said. "We have a little bit more to prove in light of our youth than other teams, but I still expect them to do well. That's the level of expectation that we have in our program."
The UCF cross country team will continue its post-season run Nov. 12 at the NCAA South Region Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The meet will take place at Harry Pritchett Running Park at 11:15 a.m.
The race will consist of 462 athletes from the southern region. The Knights will be represented by freshmen Cody Castillo, Teresa Huff, Jamie Perzanowski and Amelia Williams and sophomores Jessica Pachay, Danielle Scaffidi and Erica Winston.
The field is loaded with talent from the 35 teams attending the championships, which include schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, South Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi and Conference USA rivals Memphis, UAB and Southern Miss.
"I think it's a good thing for our team to go up against this level of competition, and I believe we will rise to the challenge," Brown said. "I've been preparing them mentally for this meet since before the Conference USA Championships. I'm trying to avoid the letdown that some teams have at national meets after they've focused solely on their conference championships. Since this is the last race, I just told them to run hard and leave it all out on the course."