Women's Track and Field Splits Up for Gladstein, Diet Pepsi Invitationals

Jan. 25, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF women's track and field team looks to further improve upon the marks from its season debut at the Florida Intercollegiate as a split squad travels to the Gladstein Invitational at Indiana University and the UF Diet Pepsi Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. this weekend.

The Gladstein Invitational begins on Friday afternoon with the pentathlon and the Golden Knights are well-represented with three athletes competing in the five events. Sophomore Sheree Carter (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby HS) placed fifth in the pentathlon at the 2006 Conference USA Indoor Championship and the 3,229 points she collected during that meet ranks her second all-time at UCF. Junior transfer Tia Harewood (Wyandach, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East HS) brings her experience in the multi-events from her previous two seasons at Norfolk State, while sophomore Natalie Braddock (Callahan, Fla./West Nassau HS) makes her debut in the pentathlon.

The Golden Knight throwers compete in two events on the weekend. Senior Virginia Traynor (Miami/Westminster Christian HS) and freshman LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange HS) square off in both the shot put and weight throw, while freshman Jessica Francis (Orlando, Fla./Boone HS) participates in the shot put. Traynor registered a toss of 42-feet in the shot put at the Florida Intercollegiate, while Francis recorded a mark of 41-3 and Thames went 37-4.50. Thames excelled during her debut in the weight throw two weeks ago as she posted a UCF freshman record of 47-6.50, which also ranks third all-time overall in the record books.

Looking to improve on their earlier marks in the triple and long jump are sophomore Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) and redshirt freshman Ricki Sullivan (Santa Cruz, Calif./Harbor HS). Ranked third all-time at UCF in both events, Thomas leaped 38-7.75 in the triple jump at the season opener. Sullivan posted the Golden Knights' best performance in the long jump at 17-8 and also went 37-3 in the triple jump.

Meanwhile, senior and school record holder Katie Fowke (Tampa, Fla./Riverview HS) headlines the UCF lineup in the pole vault which also includes junior Kelsey Bealert (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge HS) and sophomore Brittney McDermott. Both Fowke and McDermott reached 10-6 at the Florida Intercollegiate, while Bealert topped off at 9-10.

Also in the vertical jumps, freshman Katorie Stinney (Rockledge HS) competes in the high jump before racing in the 200m along with classmate Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y./Trevor Day School) and senior Jenny Rogan (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island HS).

Coming off an impressive debut in Gainesville two weeks ago when she ran the 55m in 7.19 seconds, Adaramola also competes in the 60m, while Rogan takes on the 400m. After recording a time of 8.50 in the 55m hurdles in the opener, junior Victoria Chin (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge HS) returns to the 60m hurdles, an event in which she holds the UCF record at 8.71.

At the Diet Pepsi Invitational in Gainesville on Saturday, the Golden Knights lineup is featured mainly in the middle distance and distance events. Seven UCF athletes are set to race in the 800m, including senior Karen Kozub, sophomore Shantile Blackburn and freshmen Stephanie Knapp and Carley Dart. A finalist in the event at the 2006 C-USA Indoor Championship, Kozub makes her 2007 debut this weekend. Just two weeks ago, Knapp clocked in at a team-best 2:21.20 with Blackburn following at 2:21.83. Dart, who redshirted the cross country season due to injury, finished at 2:24.39.

In the 3,000m, sophomore Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora HS) seeks to better personal best of 10:41.46 after finishing sixth in the same race at UF on Jan. 13. She is joined by freshman Jenny Clausen (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial HS), who makes her track debut after running No. 1 for UCF throughout the cross country season. Juniors Allison Palmer (Oviedo HS) and Elizabeth Miller (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek HS) also line up for the event.

Representing UCF in the shorter distances are sophomores Sadé Nero (Miami, Fla./Miami Northwestern HS) and Michelle Ranc (Weston, Fla./Archbishop McCarthy HS) in the 400m and senior LaToya Green (Miramar, Fla./McArthur HS) in the 55m and 200m. Ranc will also race in the 55m hurdles.

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