Track and Field Returns to Coral Gables for Miami Elite Invitational

April 11, 2008

Meet Notes in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF track and field team returns to Coral Gables, Fla., Saturday for the second time in less than a month to participate in the Miami Elite Invitational. The one-day event is hosted by the University of Miami at the Cobb Track and Field Facility. Activities begin at 12 p.m. with the field events and live stats for the entire meet will be available at www.halfmiletiming.com.

The Knights are coming off of an impressive showing at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla., last weekend. UCF finished the event with eight personal-best marks and times, three school records and two NCAA regional-qualifying scores. In just two outdoor meets this season, the Knights have already matched last season's total (2) of NCAA regional-qualifying marks.

UCF has broken three school records this outdoor season and 15 overall (indoor and outdoor) under the direction of first-year head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. Last weekend, UCF broke school records in the sprint medley relay, the 800-meter run (Shantile Blackburn) and the 100-meter dash (Dione Thomas).

"We are looking forward to going into this weekend and sharpening up to get ready for our next two meets at Vanderbilt and the Penn Relays," Smith Gilbert said. "Our goal is to get more regional-qualifying marks, set PRs, personal bests and school records. Miami is a great place to run fast because of the warm weather. That will help our entire team compete at their best in every area and event."

Thomas is UCF's reigning track and field athlete of the week after her strong performance at the Pepsi Florida Relays last weekend. She notched the team's second regional-qualifying mark of the season on Saturday with a personal-best leap of 40-10.50 (12.46m) in the long jump. Also on Saturday, Thomas was a part of the school-record-setting sprint medley relay. Running the second leg, Thomas helped the squad finish in a time of 3:57.55, which shattered the school's previous record of 4:12.40 set during the 1998 campaign. On Friday, she broke the school record in the 100-meter dash with a personal-best time of 11.83 in the event.

The Knights are making their second trip to Coral Gables during the outdoor season, as they also participated in the two-day Hurricane Invitational in late March. In that meet, Blackburn broke the school record in the 800-meter run, while distance runners Shannon Kelly (Tampa, Fla.) and Allison Palmer (Oviedo, Fla.) each notched personal-best times in the 5,000-meter run.

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.