By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Kayla Bratcher broke into the top 20 and helped a limited lineup from the USF women's cross country team place sixth at Friday's UT Early Bird Classic.
USF's top runners rested while Bratcher was the Bulls' top individual finisher in 20th place with a time of 20:47.29 on the 5K course at the Brandon Trails. USF's second finisher was Leandra Munson, whose time of 21:42.15 was good enough for 34th place among 16 total programs competing in the Spartans' home meet.
"For only getting to practice three times this week, I was proud of the way the girls competed," USF coach Dena Reif said.
Friday's meet was a chance for USF's less experienced distance runners compete for spots on the program's traveling squad roster and Taylor Faist was the third Bull to finish in the top 50 with a 46th place time of 22:16.46.
The Bulls' top runners begin their season Friday, Sept. 7 at the USF Invitational that will take place at The Claw.
Top Team Finishes at UT Early Bird Classic
1. Tampa, total time 1:39:11.46
2. Palm Beach Atlantic, 1:44:48.79
3. SCAD, 1:45:46.34
4. Flagler, 1:45:33.43
5. Valdosta State, 1:48:40.04
6. USF, 1:50:49.48
7. Florida Southern, 1:50:30.81
8. Saint Leo, 1:51:55.25
20. Kayla Bratcher, 20:47.29
34. Leandra Munson, 21:42.15
46. Taylor Faist, 22:16.46
52. Robyn Oakley, 22:29.04
71. Shenequa Fisher, 23:34.54
87. Jennifer Cavalieri, 24:20.99
88. Rachel Flaws, 24:40.53
89. Nikole Brate, 24:40.91
90. Rachel Moore, 24:51.55
92. Winter Davenport, 24:59.25
98. Ann Delaney, 25:39.65
102. Courtney Uhlar, 26:08.24
115. Victoria Miles, 28:19.27
116. Ami Dunn, 28:37.83
119. Jennifer Kreider, 29:37.13