Track and Field Claims Two Events on Final Day of Virginia Tech Invitational


Jan. 12, 2008

Final Stats

BLACKSBURG, Va. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Freshman sprinter Lizzie Harris (Miami, Fla.) and junior jumper Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) each posted wins in their respective events Saturday to lead the UCF women's track and field team on the final day of the Virginia Tech Invitational at Rector Field House.

Thomas posted a lifetime personal-best mark in the long jump with a leap of 19-9, which topped her previous best mark of 19-8.75 and highlighted a strong opening weekend by the Knights.

"We had some really solid performances today in the long jump and the 400," UCF head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "Dione Thomas had a lifetime personal-best effort in the long jump, and that is a great start for our season. It proves we are a great team and headed in the right direction."

Harris, competing in her first collegiate meet, placed first in the 400-meter dash, just missing an NCAA provisional mark by finishing in 56.36. Harris also was second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.48.

"Lizzie Harris ran very confidently today to win the 400," Smith Gilbert said. "She was a little tentative, but it was a great showing for her first-ever college meet on an indoor track."

Harris was one of seven competitors for the Knights in the 200-meter dash as sophomore Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y.) was seventh in the event with a time of 25.29. Adaramola, who was the squad's top 200-meter runner a year ago, finished just off her personal-record time of 25.18.

Distance runners Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Kristen Zieminski (Sarasota, Fla.) posted strong showings in the 1,000-meter run, finishing first and second, respectively, in their sections of the event. Blackburn finished in 3:02.52, while Zieminski followed in a time of 3:06.35.

"Our distance runners did a really solid job in the 1,000 meter," Smith Gilbert said. "They ran quite a few races this weekend and it is evident that they are getting into good form for the next few weeks."

UCF returns to action Jan. 26 when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to participate in the Florida Diet Pepsi Invitational.

"For my first meet as a collegiate head coach, I had a very fun time and learned a lot about each of our athletes," Smith Gilbert said. "I told our team that in any failure, there is always winning because you learn about those things you need to work on. We're going to come out and train hard, work on some things we can improve on and be ready to go in two weeks."

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. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Virginia Tech Invitational (Rector Field House - Blacksburg, Va.)

Results - Saturday, January 12, 2008 - Event - (NCAA Qualifying Marks ) - Time

Long Jump - (Auto: 6.35; Prov: 6.10)
1. Dione Thomas - 19-9/6.02m
11. Sheree Carter - 17-9/5.41m

400-Meter Dash - (Auto: 53.00; Prov: 55.00)
1. Lizzie Harris - 56.36
16. Sade Nero - 1:00.76
21. Michelle Ranc - 1:02.18
23. Samantha Shields - 1:03.02

1,000-Meter Run - (Not an NCAA Championship Event)
13. Shantile Blackburn - 3:02.52
18. Kristen Zieminski - 3:06.35
31. Jaclyn Johnson - 3:16.45

Shot Put - (Auto:16.90; Prov: 15.20)
16. Christina Raphael - 41-6/12.66m
19. Virginia Traynor - 39-10.5/12.15m
20. Jessica Francis - 39-7/12.06m

200-Meter Dash - (Auto: 23.20; Prov: 23.90)
2. Lizzie Harris - 24.48
7. Feyisara Adaramola - 25.29
21. Mckayla Wimbley - 26.13
24. Sheree Carter - 26.33
26. Sade Nero - 26.36
29. Victoria Chin - 26.45
30. Samantha Shields - 26.68