After a solid second place finish at the USF Invitational last week, the Knights return to action at home on Saturday, Sept. 13 to host the 2014 UCF Cross Country Invitational.
The women’s 5k race will feature UCF, Bethune-Cookman, Edward Waters, FIU, Johnson and Wales, Rollins, and Stetson. The race is set to begin at approximately 7:40 a.m. following the men’s 8k race which is slated for 7 a.m. Competing on the men’s side will be Bethune-Cookman, Edward Waters, FIU, Rollins, and Stetson.
Last year, Anne-Marie Blaney led the Knights to a second place finish in the women’s 6k after having commanded the field with a time of 21:34.56 and a first place finish of her own.
Looking to capitalize on the home course advantage again this year, and with the majority of the track and field team joining the squad on the course, Blaney hopes the Knights race to the top at this year’s invite.
“I think we are all definitely going to step it up,” said Blaney. “We have our team coming to run the first mile with us so that will be really encouraging.”
With a first place finish for the third consecutive year at the USF Invite, Blaney, along with Laura Korsmit, who placed in the top ten in her first race as a Knight, were named the UCF Cross Country Student-Athletes of the Week. With some pre-race jitters last week, Korsmit stepped it up come race time.
“Going into it I was really nervous, it being my first race as a Knight,” said Korsmit. “It was kind of different because at home I haven’t really run on a team before for cross country. It is more of individual racing, so getting here and trying to learn to go out with the team, it is definitely a learning experience.”
Last week being the first meet of the season, the Knights set a great foundation, which they look to continue to develop upon each race.
“I feel like no one really knew what to expect out of each other, but we just went out there and tested the field,” said Blaney. “I don’t think we ran to the best of our ability and we definitely could have won. But I think it was a good feel out meet so we could see where we are and what else we need to do to get better.”
Follow the Knights on Twitter @UCF_Track for updates during the meet, and check UCFKnights.com for complete results following Saturday’s race.