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Benton quietly takes C-USA honor

The key to the Bulls’ cross country future may be here already, although it wouldn’t come out of her mouth due to her shy and quiet demeanor.

Sophomore Christa Benton has two first-place finishes and a third-place finish this season.

Her most recent top finish was at the Gator Invitational this past weekend. She finished with a time of 20 minutes, 55.8 seconds, earning the Bulls first place and Benton the Conference USA Athlete of the Week.

“We’re so proud of her and everything she’s accomplished since she’s been here,” coach Greg Thiel said. “What she’s doing as a sophomore in the sport of cross country, usually you see that out of juniors and seniors. She’s absolutely going to go down as one of the best distance runners we had here.”

Thiel predicts that this won’t be the last accolade that Benton will see this year.

“Christa is the first female winner this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is another time this year,” Thiel said. “I think she has a shot of being an All American this year.”

Despite the award and coach’s high regards, Benton still remains a humble athlete who was almost embarrassed when presented with the news.

“Christa is a real quiet and shy person,” Thiel said. “She was real excited, but ridiculously modest. She’s such a humble kid that she is embarrassed by that kind of recognition.”

Bulls’ golf 14th

South Florida’s men’s golf team saved its best for last Wednesday when the Bulls shot their best score of the Adams Cup of Newport during the final round.

USF shot a team total of 296, which was not enough to finish in the top 10. The Bulls ended the tournament in 14th place.

Michigan State finished in first with a three-day total of 873, followed by Texas A&M’s 876 and Georgia with 879.

Oscar Fraustro, who shot a team best 1-over-par 73, led the Bulls in the final round. Fraustro also led the Bulls with a total score of 227 to tie for 40th place overall in the three-day event.

Ryan Shears and Jeremy Sims tied at 229, with Sims and Brad Quiri shooting a 2-over-par 74 for the day.

Dan Grassman shot 78 with a total of 232, with Quiri rounding out the Bulls with 236.

The Bulls next match will be in Tampa, starting Monday, at the Gary Koch Intercollegiate.