Women's Track and Field Hosts Invitational

March 4, 2005

ORLANDO - The UCF women's track and field team opens up the outdoor season when it hosts the UCF Invitational beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the UCF Track and Field Complex. USF, Tennessee State and Atlantic Sun rivals Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic will also be participating in the meet.

The Golden Knights are strong in the field events with six all-conference athletes returning. Both sophomores Katie Fowke and Tracy Fischler were first and third at the A-Sun Championship last season. Fowke also qualified for the NCAA Regional Championship and set a new school record of 3.66 meters (12-feet). The duo is joined by veterans Sara Scheeren and Michelle Strauss as well as rookies Kelsey Bealert and Ginny Cobb.

In the throws, UCF also boasts two all-conference honorees in juniors Tiffany Roebuck and Rian Thomas. Two weeks ago, Roebuck broke her own school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 56.64m (185-10) to qualify for her second consecutive NCAA Regional. She will be competing in the shot put, discus and hammer, while Thomas, who qualified for the NCAA Regional in 2004, will be entered in both the shot and hammer. She holds the school record in the weight throw at 15.08m (49-5.75). Sophomore Anna Baker and junior Michelle Olandese round out the list of returning veterans in the throwing lineup. Freshman Kendra Howell, Lauren Johnson, Sade Kusimo and Virginia Traynor are among the rookies to watch.

The high jump also features two Atlantic Sun honorees in sophomore LesSundra Ford and senior captain Ann-Louise Larsen. Ford advanced to the NCAA Championship finals last season after breaking the school record with a leap of 1.81m (5-11.25). Larsen, a three-time all-conference honoree and two-time NCAA Regional competitor, narrowly missed the NCAA Indoor Championships this year. Freshman Alison Shoemaker will also enter the event.

Meanwhile, in the horizontal jumps, junior Diana Chin is second all-time at UCF in the long jump with a mark of 5.89m (19-4) and has twice been named all-conference in the event. She will be joined by classmate Lynnsey Hicks and freshman Chastity Rivers. The triple jump features Hicks, Rivers and junior Tavia Record. Both Hicks and Record will also compete in the 100m and 200m.

Chin will also be running in 200m dash and the 100m hurdles, an event in which she earned second-team all-conference honors during 2004. In the hurdles, she will compete with sister Vicky Chin (Orlando/Oak Ridge HS). The younger Chin made her mark when she had a time of 8.19 in the 55m hurdles during the spring. She will compete along with senior Melody Parry, junior Kylene Colastanti and sophomore Theresea Manahan in the 400m hurdles as well.

The Golden Knights will be strong in other track events. Other entries in the sprints include sophomores LaToya Green, Kaprice Williams and Jenny Rogan as well as rookies Angele Busch, Caila Carter and April Sanders.

Headlining the list of middle distance runners is 2004 A-Sun Champion and NCAA Regional competitor Karen Kozub. She owns the program's second best time in the 800m at 2:12.02. Fellow sophomore Christina Jones and redshirt freshman Kristen Zieminski will also be in the race.

After earning all-conference accolades in cross country last fall, junior Astrid Claessens will be looking to add more honors to her resume. She runs the 1500m this weekend along with senior Melissa Leen and freshmen Carla Portilla , Elizabeth Miller, Annie Lolagne and Shannon Stauton.

Finally, the distance races feature several standouts from the cross country team. In the 2000m steeplechase, junior Andrea Morrow and classmate Michelle Westhoff compete, while Morrow will also run with freshman Allison Palmer and junior Rebecca Rojas in the 3000m. Palmer doubles up by competing in the 5000m as well along with senior Jackie Magee, junior Michelle Brouillet and sophomore Amanda Peters.

The Golden Knights have won five consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference Championships and have seen 12 athletes qualify for the NCAA Regional Championships in the last two years.