Women's Track and Field Makes Outdoor Debut at UCF Invitational Saturday

March 2, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Coming off a strong indoor season during which 11 school records were broken, the UCF women's track and field team opens its outdoor campaign at home, hosting the UCF Invitational on Saturday, March 3. The meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m.

An all-conference honoree after finishing third in the high jump at the recent Conference USA Championship, freshman Katorie Stinney (Rockledge HS) takes on that event as well as racing against teammates Jenny Rogan (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island HS), Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS), Olinka Crusoe (Harlem, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS) and Sadé Nero (Miami, Fla./Miami Northwestern HS) in the 200-meter dash. During the indoor season, Rogan posted UCF's second-best times in both the 200m and the 400m dash and ran the second leg on the record-breaking distance medley relay. Crusoe logged the best effort in the 400m at 59.01.

In addition to the 200m, Thomas joins freshman Ricki Sullivan in the long jump and anchors the 4x100m relay team that also features Stinney, freshman Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y./Trevor Day School) and senior LaToya Green (Miramar, Fla./McArthur HS). Meanwhile, Green and Nero go head-to-head in the 100m dash and sophomore Natalie Braddock (Callahan, Fla./West Nassau HS) headlines the trio of athletes slated for the 400m.

Junior Elizabeth Miller (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek HS) returns for her second year in the 3,000m steeplechase as her classmate Allison Palmer (Oviedo HS) and freshman Erica Weitz (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro HS) make their collegiate debut in the event. At the starting line for the 3,000m, the Golden Knights will be represented by sophomores Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora HS), Mary Schaefer (Tampa, Fla./Plant HS) and Annie Lolagne (Orlando, Fla./University HS) and freshmen Kellie Dwyer (Ventor, N.J./Atlantic City HS) and Shannon Kelly (Tampa, Fla./Sickles HS).

In the middle distances, sophomore Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS) runs the 800m, an event in which she owns the school's third-best time at 2:19.99. UCF also has a large group - led by junior Kristen Zieminski (Sarasota, Fla./Riverview HS) and sophomore Kelly McNeill (Coral Springs, Fla./Taravella HS) racing in the 1,500m. Zieminski has a personal best of 4:53.92 in the event, while McNeill posted the team's second best time in the mile during the indoor season.

Sophomores Shenevia Patterson (Yorktown, Va./Grafton HS) and Michelle Ranc (Weston, Fla./Archbishop McCarthy HS) take on both the 100m and 400m hurdles and junior Tia Harewood (Wyandach, N.Y./Half Hallow Hills HS) also appears in the 100m hurdle lineup.

Freshman Jessica Francis (Orlando, Fla./Boone HS) will participate three throwing events as classmate LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange HS) and junior Virginia Traynor (Miami, Fla./Westminster Christian HS) join her in the shot put and discus. Junior Kendra Howell (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) and freshman Ashley Kirkpatrick also compete with Francis in the hammer throw.

Finally, the pole vault lineup includes UCF recordholder and three-time NCAA Regional qualifier Katie Fowke (Tampa, Fla./Riverview HS) as well as junior Kelsey Bealert (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge HS) and sophomore Brittney McDermott (Oviedo HS).

For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.