CLEMSON, S.C. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF track and field team posted a strong opening day of its indoor campaign at the Clemson Invitational.
"I was pleased with the effort today," UCF head coach Dana Boone said. "We had some personal bests and we made some finals. That is always a good way to start off the season. Of course, we need to continue to improve, but it was a step in the right direction."
On the track, a pair of Knights used personal-best marks to advance to the finals in the 60-meter hurdles and the 60-meter dash.
In her Black and Gold debut, Zharia Moore raced to a personal best 8.43, the fifth-fastest mark in the preliminaries, to advance to the 60-meter hurdles final. She finished sixth overall with a time of 7.51.
In the final track event of the day, Imani Clark made her UCF debut with a personal record in the 60-meter dash. The Lovejoy, Ga., native posted the fifth-fastest preliminary time at 7.45 and finished seventh overall with a 7.51 time in the final.
UCF posted a three-four-five finish in the shot put, led by a personal-record performance from Shanell Atkins. Already setting a new PR on her second attempt of the afternoon, Atkins improved the mark twice in the final round. Her fifth attempt of the day landed at 14.52m/47-7.75 to propel her into third overall. Jhane’ Carter opened her senior campaign with a fourth-place finish, using her fourth throw of the day to post a 14.13m/46-4.25 mark.
Courtney Morgan made her indoor debut with a fifth-place finish. Advancing to the finals, she made her last attempt of the day her best one. The sophomore’s 13.79m/45-3 mark put her more than six inches ahead of sixth place.
Overall, seven Knights made a debut in their event on the first day of indoor competition. In addition to Moore, Clark and Morgan, Soteria Russell, Jayda Drake-Howard and Nelda Huggins each donned the Black and Gold for the first time. Devin D’Oliveira competed in her first indoor long jump as a Knight.
The Knights return to action at the Clemson Invitational on Saturday. UCF’s track events will begin at 12:20 p.m., while the Knights will begin field events at 1 p.m.
60m Hurdles – Prelims
5. Zharia Moore 8.43Q
14. Jayda Drake-Howard 9.07
60m Hurdles – Final
6. Zharia Moore 8.46
22. Jessica Dolan 5:34.22
60M – Prelims
5. Imani Clark 7.45Q
9. Nelda Huggins 7.55
10. Shaniya Williams 7.57
15. Sarah Wollaston 7.63
60M – Final
7. Imani Clark 7.51
3. Shanell Atkins 14.52m/47-7.75
4. Jhane’ Carter 14.13m/46-4.25
5. Courtney Morgan 13.79m/45-3
10. Soteria Russell 12.65m/41-6
12. Gabby Durant 12.02m.39-5.25
11. Devin D’Oliveira 5.50m/18-0.5
9. Madison Bryan 3.30m/10-10