Track and Field Back in Action at Tom Jones Memorial Classic

Jan. 24, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After a week off from competition, the UCF track and field squad returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to participate in the Tom Jones Memorial Classic. The one-day event commences at 11 a.m. EST in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Some of the nation's top teams will be among the field participating in the meet, including host Florida, in-state rivals Florida State and Miami, and Southeastern Conference foes Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina. Events begin with the field events at 11 a.m. EST and the running events starting at 2 p.m. EST.

"We are looking forward to going to Gainesville this weekend," UCF head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "Our team goal is to have each of our athletes give 100 percent effort in every event and see how we stack up against some of the best teams in the country. I am also looking for a number of personal bests and school records to be broken this weekend."

The Knights are coming off a strong opening weekend at the Virginia Tech Invitational. UCF athletes broke five school records and captured two event wins in Blacksburg, Va., two weeks ago.

Freshman sprinter Lizzie Harris (Miami, Fla.) broke the both school's indoor and freshman indoor records in both the 200 and 400-meter dashes. Competing in her first collegiate meet, Harris finished the 200 in a time of 24.48 and the 400 in a time of 56.36.

Junior jumper Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) broke the school record in the indoor long jump with a lifetime personal-best leap of 19-9. That bested the previous school-record mark of 19-5.5 set during the 2000 season.

The meet, which has been traditionally called the Diet Pepsi Invitational, has been changed to the Tom Jones Memorial Classic. The meet has been re-named in honor of former Florida women's coach Tom Jones, a 35-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, who lost a courageous battle with cancer on March 21, 2007. He coached at Florida, Arizona State, Texas-El Paso and N.C. State, mentoring athletes to 335 All-America honors, two NCAA team titles and 12 team conference championships.

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