UCF's Thomas, Chin Record Strong Opening Day at Tyson Invitational

Feb. 16, 2008

Meet Results in PDF Format

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF's Victoria Chin (Orlando, Fla.) and Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) each turned in strong performances Friday in their respective events on the opening day of the prestigious Tyson Invitational, hosted by the University of Arkansas, site of the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Thomas finished second in the women's long jump, coming just shy of her season-best mark in the event with a leap of 19-11.00. Chin ran a season-best 55.94 in the women's 400-meter dash, making her just the second UCF athlete this season to break the 56-second plateau in the event. Junior Olinka Crusoe (Harlem, N.Y.) recorded a personal-best time in the 400-meter dash, finishing in 58.72.

The Tyson Invitational has long been considered a preview of the NCAA Indoor Championships and features five of the nation's top 15 teams.

"Today, we had two good performances in the long jump and the 400 meters," UCF head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "Dione was consistent in the long jump and Victoria Chin stepped up to run a good race in the 400. The performances that I saw today showed me that we have a lot of work to do in the areas of confidence, consistency and effort. It is our goal to get our athletes to run as fast in competitions as they do in practice. When we put all of the pieces in the puzzle together at the same time, this team is going to be amazing.

"We are at a high-caliber meet," Smith Gilbert said. "We are facing some good competition and it is a good opportunity for our student-athletes to compete under pressure."

Split squads return to action Saturday for UCF with activities beginning at 11 a.m. EST in Fayetteville for the final day of the Tyson Invitational. The majority of the Knights' distance runners and throwers are in action at the Carolina Chick Fil-A Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C. That one-day event commences at 10 a.m.

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