UCF to Chase C-USA Track Title in Texas Beginning Thursday

May 9, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's track and field team heads to Houston, Texas this weekend where the Knights will compete against 11 other squads for the 2007 Conference USA Outdoor Championship. Hosted by Rice, the meet begins on Thursday, May 10 and continues through Saturday, May 12.

Kicking off the competition on Thursday is the heptathlon, which features UCF sophomore Sheree Carter (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby HS) and junior Tia Harewood (Wyandach, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East HS). Both are ranked among the league's top eight in the multi-events with Carter, an all-conference honoree in the pentathlon at the indoor championships, in fourth with a 4,377-point effort followed by Harewood in fifth with 4,214. She will also run the 100-meter hurdles on Friday.

Also contested on opening day are the hammer throw and the 10,000m. In the hammer, the Knights are represented by junior Kendra Howell (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy). She posted a personal-best mark of 153-feet at the Golden Knight Twilight two weeks ago. Freshman Jenny Clausen (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial HS) has been a standout in the distance races all season and owns the UCF rookie records in three of the events - including the 10,000m at 35:41. She will also run the 5,000m on Saturday.

Competition truly gets underway on Friday as the heptathlon concludes in the morning and the field events and preliminary heats of the shorter distances begin in the afternoon with the 1500m.

Junior Victoria Chin (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge HS) takes on both the 100m and 400m hurdles and is among the top athletes in the conference in both events. She owns the team's best time in the 100m hurdles at 14.42, while she is third in C-USA with an NCAA Regional qualifying time of 60.38 in the 400m hurdles. Sophomores Olinka Crusoe (Harlem, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS) and Natalie Braddock (Callahan, Fla./West Nassau HS) also race in the 400m hurdles.

In the sprints, senior Latoya Green (Miramar, Fla./McArthur HS) and freshman Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y./Trevor Day School) go head-to-head in the 100m dash, an event in which Green owns the UCF record at 11.94 and Adaramola holds the freshman record at 12.06. A finalist in the 60m at the indoor conference championship, Adaramola also races in the 200m.

The 800m run features sophomore Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Laughlin HS), a finalist in the indoor event last season, and freshmen Carley Dart (Whitby, Ontario) and Stephanie Knapp (Englewood, Fla./Lemon Bay HS), while the 400m includes senior Jenny Rogan (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island HS) and junior Sadé Nero (Miami, Fla./Miami Northwestern HS).

Capping off Friday's track events, redshirt freshman Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y./East Aurora HS) and junior Elizabeth Miller (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek HS) line up for the 3,000m steeplechase. Rzepecki is second all-time at UCF with a time of 11:11.02 and Miller is fourth at 11:33.21. Both are listed among C-USA's top eight.

The finals of the running events take place Saturday evening and conclude with the 5,000m and 4x400m relay.

The Knights are also deep in many of the field events, including the jumps and throws. Headlining the list is senior pole vaulter and three-time NCAA Regional qualifier Katie Fowke (Tampa, Fla./Riverview HS). She is currently tied for second in the conference with a season-best mark of 11-11.75 and holds the school record in the event at 12-5.50. Joining her are junior Kelsey Bealert (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge HS) and sophomore Brittney McDermott (Oviedo HS).

In the high jump, freshman Katorie Stinney (Rockledge HS) looks to duplicate her performance from the C-USA Indoor Championships, during which she placed third and earned all-conference honors.

Sophomore Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) competes in the horizontal jumps. She has posted a season-best mark of 19-2.50 in the long jump and is just a fraction of an inch short of the NCAA Regional qualifying mark in the triple jump after leaping 40-4.75 at Auburn last month.

A trio of UCF athletes competes in the discus and shot put. Freshman LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange HS) is ranked fourth on the league's list in both the shot put and discus. An NCAA Regional qualifier, she holds the UCF record in the discus at 160-3 and is third all-time in the shot put at 46-5.25. Junior Virginia Traynor (Miami, Fla./Westminster Christian HS) enters the weekend at fifth in C-USA and fourth all-time at UCF with a mark of 45-11.75 in the shot put, while freshman Jessica Francis (Orlando, Fla./Boone HS) is ranked among C-USA's top eight in the discus with a season-best of 149-5.

The top three finishers in each event are designated as all-conference honorees, while the top eight contribute points in reverse order with 10 points given to first place, eight points to second and so on.

Last season, the Knights finished ninth in their inaugural C-USA Outdoor Championship. They were also ninth at the 2007 C-USA Indoor Championship, which took place in February.

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