UCF Track and Field to Compete at Florida Relays This Weekend

April 5, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's track and field team aims to add to the list of NCAA Regional qualifiers when the Knights travel to the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7.

At the FSU Relays last weekend, junior Victoria Chin (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge HS) became UCF's first NCAA Regional qualifier of the season when she ran the 400-meter hurdles in a personal-best of 1:00.79. It was the third straight season that she met the NCAA Regional standard. Chin seeks to improve upon that time this week as she is joined by sophomores Natalie Braddock (Callahan, Fla./West Nassau HS) and Olinka Crusoe (Harlem, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS). Crusoe has the squad's second best time in the event at 1:05.51, while Braddock is third at 1:05.80.

Focused upon becoming the first Knight in program history to earn four straight NCAA Regional qualifications, senior pole vaulter Katie Fowke (Tampa, Fla./Riverview HS) has recorded marks above 11-feet in all but one meet thus far this spring and has a season-best of 11-feet, 7.25 inches. Junior Kelsey Bealert (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge HS) and sophomore Brittney McDermott (Oviedo HS) have also been consistent as the duo has recorded marks of 10-6 five times.

Also in the field events, sophomores Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) and Ricki Sullivan (Santa Cruz, Calif./Harbor HS) compete in the long jump and triple jump. Thomas recently claimed top honors in the triple jump at the FSU Relays with a leap of 38-10.25 and also has a season best of 18-11.25 in the long jump. Sullivan, meanwhile, is just behind Thomas on the team's depth chart with season bests of 38-6.75 in the triple jump and 18-5.50 in the long jump.

The trio of junior captain Virginia Traynor (Miami, Fla./Westminster Christian HS) and freshmen LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange HS) and Jessica Francis (Orlando, Fla./Boone HS) are slated for the shot put. Earlier in the year, Thames broke the freshman record in the event with a toss of 45-7.75, while Traynor posted a person best of 45-3 at Florida State.

Thames and Francis are also set to join junior Sade Kusimo (Winter Park, Fla./Lake Howell HS) in the discus. Francis beat Thames by a fraction of an inch to take third at the FSU Relays and the two sit at number one and two on the depth chart at 139-8, while Kusimo is third at 136-8.

Freshman Katorie Stinney (Rockledge HS) is set to make her outdoor debut in the high jump after earning all-conference honors during the indoor season.

On the track, the Knights are well-represented in the middle distance events. Sophomore Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS) leads a trio of athletes in the 800m. Blackburn has the team's best time at 2:14.35, while freshman Stephanie Knapp (Englewood, Fla./Lemon Bay HS) sits at No. 2 at 2:15.27. Rookie Carley Dart (Whitby, Ontario) has not yet run the distance in the outdoor season, but recorded a 2:21.67 during indoor competition and has been solid thus far in the 1500m.

Meanwhile, sophomore Kelly McNeill (Coral Springs, Fla./Taravella HS) and junior Kristen Zieminski (Sarasota, Fla./Riverview HS) go head-to-head in the 1500m. McNeill's season-best time stands at 4:51.89 with Zieminski at 4:57.24.

Elsewhere, freshman Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y./Trevor Day School) looks to improve upon her time in the 100m after opening the outdoor season with a 12.07 at the FSU Relays. Another freshman Erica Weitz (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro HS) takes on the 3,000m steeplechase for the third time this spring. The Knights are also slated to field teams for the 4x100m, 4x400m and 4x800m relays.

In addition, a trio from the UCF men's cross country team makes the trip to Gainesville, where they race in the 5,000m.

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