Track and Field Sends Split Squads to Arkansas and North Carolina

Feb. 12, 2008

Meet Notes in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After a week off, the UCF track and field team returns to action this weekend when split squads travel to the prestigious Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Carolina Chick Fil-A Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Action at the Tyson Invitational begins at 11 a.m. EST on Friday and Saturday, while the one-day Carolina Chick Fil-A Invitational commences at 10 a.m. Saturday. The trip to Fayetteville will be a good opportunity for the Knights to experience a championship-level atmosphere, as the University of Arkansas plays host to the NCAA Indoor Championships each season at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

UCF will send its sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers to the Tyson Invitational, while the majority of the squad's throwers and distance runners will travel to the Chick Fil-A Invitational.

"This weekend, we are going to be facing some of the best talent in the United States," UCF head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "The Tyson Invitational is a preview of the NCAA Championships, and there are also going to be some very formidable Conference USA teams at this meet. We are looking forward to seeing how we stack up against the best teams in the conference and the nation. We are looking for great performances and continuing our goal of giving 100-percent effort every time out.

"The meet in North Carolina will be a great tune-up for our throwers and distance runners," Smith Gilbert continued. "Our throwers will get several repetitions and it will be a great opportunity for them to perfect their technique, improve performances and break PRs. For our distance runners, it will be an opportunity to compete on a flat, 200-meter track instead of the banked track. They will be concentrating on achieving the split times they have been working on and tuning up for the conference meet."

Teams participating in the Tyson Invitational include: host and fourth-ranked Arkansas, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, No. 15 Kentucky, No. 1 LSU, Houston, Miami, Mississippi State, North Carolina, No. 14 Ole Miss, No. 12 South Carolina, No. 2 Tennessee, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.

Teams participating in the Carolina Chick Fil-A Invitational include: Albany State, Appalachian State, Clayton State, East Carolina, Eastern Mennonite, Georgia Southern, High Point, James Madison, North Carolina Central, N.C. State, Radford, Savannah State, St. Augustine, host North Carolina, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Wesleyan and William & Mary.

In just three meets this season under the direction of Smith Gilbert, UCF athletes have re-written the school's record books.

The Knights have broken 10 indoor school records and set four freshmen indoor records. Additionally, the team's athletes have consistently broken their personal-best times and marks at every meet so far this season in an effort to strive for constant and continual improvement. Following this weekend's competitions, UCF has just one more week of competition before the Conference USA Indoor Championships. The Knights travel to the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C., and the Virginia Tech Challenge in Blacksburg, Va., on Feb. 22-23 to conclude the indoor regular season. The league championships take place Feb. 29-March 1 in Houston, Texas, hosted by the University of Houston.

Freshman Lizzie Harris (Jacksonville, Fla.) recorded just the second NCAA indoor provisional-qualifying mark in school history two weeks ago at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational and the first by a Knight since the 2002 campaign. Harris recorded a school-record leap of 5-10.75 in the high jump to break her own school and freshman record and notch a provisional mark.

Harris' provisional mark was just one of six school records that were set on the team's final day of competition in Lincoln, Neb.

The team's relay squads also came through with record-setting performances. The distance medley relay squad, consisting of Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Samantha Shields (Orlando, Fla.), Kristen Zieminski (Sarasota, Fla.) and Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y.), finished second in the event, en rote to setting the school record with a time of 12:09.42. The DMR broke a six-year old school record in the event.

Additionally, the 4x400-meter relay eclipsed the previous school record. Sade Nero (Miami, Fla.), Victoria Chin (Orlando, Fla.), Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y) and Harris won their heat and set a new school-best mark with a time of 3:47.30. The quartet became the first group in school history to break the three-minute, 50-second plateau in the 4x400 relay.

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