On a rain-soaked course with thunder and lightning looming in the distance, the UCF cross country team won the 2010 Knight Attack Invitational Friday evening. The Knights posted 29 team points as six runners finished in the top 10. UCF has now swept its two home meets for the second straight season after winning the Black & Gold Challenge to the open 2010.
“I saw promise and progress today,” cross country coach Paul Brown said. “I told the team beforehand that I wanted us to go out and run hard and run fast. We went out and defended our turf and that is always a good thing.”
Senior Ocean Cohen was the Knights’ top finisher for the third time in as many meets this season. Cohen’s time of 18:53.84 was a season best on the 5K course by more than seven seconds. The time was also an improvement from the first home meet of the season by more than a minute.
The race was won by Juline Brice from Webber as she crossed the line in 18:08.02. Rollins’ Justine Falcone finished second in 18:50.77, just ahead of Cohen in third. Following UCF’s 29 points were Webber (65), Rollins (70), Flagler (18) and Warner (132).
Alyssa Franks also improved her time from the Black & Gold Challenge. Franks crossed the line fifth Friday night in 19:29.19, an improvement of more than two minutes from the first meet of the season and 20 faster than last weekend’s time at the Mountain Dew Invitational.
Freshman Sierra Solaun and senior Carley Dart finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Solaun’s time of 19:35.97 was a personal best by 13 seconds, while Dart’s 19:36.33 finish was her best of the season.
Danielle Scaffidi was the final UCF runner in the scoring, picking up eight points with an eighth-place finish of 19:48.46. Crossing the line next for the Knights was Ne’Ausha Logan in ninth place in a time of 20:18.45.
Mason Gardberg (11th, 20:48.72) and Katie Homme (12th, 20:53.14) were just outside the top 10, but both posted person-best times in the race. Erica Winston (15th, 21:09.09), Dan’Elle Bellamy (19th, 21:53.64), Eva Pierce (30th, 23:38.24) and Aisha-Maree Frazier (35th, 24:21.62) rounded out the Knights running Friday.
“It was a very good day with some great times,” said track & field and cross country head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. “Everyone improved their times, which is exciting to see that we are moving in the right direction going forward.”
The Knights will return to action on Friday, Oct. 1 when they head to the FLRunners.com Invitational in Titusville, Fla.