Track and Field Shatters Two School Records on First Day of Florida Relays


April 4, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF's Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) each shattered school records Friday to headline an impressive opening day of the 64th-annual Pepsi Florida Relays. The two-day event is being hosted by the University of Florida at the James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track.

Blackburn notched the team's first NCAA regional-qualifying score of the season in the 800-meter run. She recorded the 26th regional-qualifying mark in UCF school history. Blackburn becomes just the second Conference USA athlete this season to qualify for regionals in the 800-meter run. The NCAA East Regional Championships take place May 30-31 at Tallahassee, Fla.

Including the two school records, UCF athletes set five personal-best times and marks on Friday. The Knights have now broken 14 school records (indoor and outdoor) this season under the direction of first-year head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, including besting many of those records multiple times throughout the season. UCF broke 12 school records during the indoor season and now has shattered two program-best times in one-and-a-half outdoor meets this season.

"This was a good day for UCF track and field," Smith Gilbert said. "We had a lot of PRs today, two school records and our first regional-qualifying mark of the season. It proves we are on our way to a great outdoor season. I am looking forward to watching our men compete tomorrow, as well as our 5K runners. We are also going to run some relays for the sake of training. We want to go home from this meet with no injuries and continue improving every time out."

Blackburn broke her own school record in the 800-meter run, finishing in a time of 2:09.57. She set the school record in that event for the second consecutive meet, as she ran a time of 2:10.73 in the Hurricane Invitational two weeks ago at Coral Gables, Fla. That mark broke a six-year-old school record previously held by Valerie Beaubrun. Blackburn also holds the school's indoor 800-meter record, as she ran a 2:12.38 at the Conference USA Indoor Championships on February 29.

Thomas broke the UCF school record in the 100-meter dash with a personal-best time of 11.83 in the event. She broke the previous school record of 11.94 set last season at the UCF Invitational by Latoya Green. Thomas broke her previous personal-best time of 12.00 in the 100-meter dash. It marks Thomas' third school record this season and her first in the outdoor campaign. During indoor season, she set the indoor school records in the long jump and the triple jump.

Senior sprinter Victoria Chin (Orlando, Fla.) ran a personal-best time of 14.07 to finish 17th in the 100-meter hurdles. It bested her previous personal record of 14.17 achieved at last season's Conference USA Championships.

Junior middle distance runner Kelly McNeill (Coral Springs, Fla.) notched a personal best in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:47.57. Senior Karen Kozub (Alden, N.Y.) led her heat for much of the race before finishing a close third in her section with a season-best time of 4:38.69. That mark was less than seven-tenths of a second shy of her personal best time of 4:38.01.

Sophomore thrower LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla.) won the B section of the shot put with a season-best mark of 45-2.50, while senior Virginia Traynor (Miami, Fla.) also charted a season-best toss of 42-10.25 in the event.

"It was good to see LaKendra get back out there and win the B section of the shot put," Smith Gilbert said.

Sophomore sprinter Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y.), finished with what would have been a personal-record time of 11.95 in the 100 meter, but the performance was wind-aided (+2.2). UCF staff assistant Alexis Joyce, who runs professionally and earlier this season participated in the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Valencia, Spain, won the women's 100-meter dash as an unattached runner with a Pepsi Florida Relays meet record time of 11.34 (+0.8). She now holds two Florida Relay records in her illustrious career, as she was part of South Carolina's record-setting 4x200-meter relay squad during the 2003 campaign.

Junior sprinter Olinka Crusoe (Harlem, N.Y.) set a personal-best time of 1:04.43 in the 400-meter hurdles. That bested her PR of 1:05.51 recorded last season at the Disney Invitational.

The two-day event concludes on Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track. Live statistics will be available at www.gatorzone.com. Complete results and a recap will be available at www.ucfathletics.com.

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.

Post-Meet Notes - UCF's Day 1 Highlights

  • Five PRs, Two School Records; One RQS; One Event Win
  • Shantile Blackburn broke her own UCF school record in the 800-meter run with a personal-best time of 2:09.57.
  • Blackburn notched UCF's first NCAA regional-qualifying score this season (in the 800m). It is just the 26th regional-qualifying score in school history.
  • Dione Thomas broke the UCF school record in the 100-meter dash with a personal-best time of 11.83.
  • Victoria Chin recorded a PR of 14.07 in the 100-meter hurdles.
  • Kelly McNeill notched a PR of 4:47.57 in the 1,500-meter run.
  • Olinka Crusoe charted a PR in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.43.
  • LaKendra Thames won the shot put.
  • UCF staff assistant Alexis Joyce, who runs professionally, broke the Pepsi Florida Relays record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.34 (+0.8).

UCF Results - Day 1 (Pepsi Florida Relays - Gainesville, Fla. - Friday, April 4, 2008

100 HH (RQS: 13.92)
17. Victoria Chin - 14.07 (+2.0) &

Long Jump B (6.00m/19-8.25)
4. Dione Thomas - 19-4.00/5.89m

Shot Put B (RQS: 14.30m/46-11)
1. LaKendra Thames - 45-2.50/13.78m @
6. Virginia Traynor - 42-10.25/13.06m @
9. Jessica Francis - 41-2.25/12.55m

1,500-Meter Run (RQS: 4:27.80)
13. Karen Kozub - 4:38.69 @
23. Kelly McNeill - 4:47.57 &

100-Meter Dash (RQS: 11.75)
1. Alexis Joyce (UCF Staff Assistant - Unattached) - 11.34 (+0.8) ^
20. Dione Thomas - 11.83 (+1.6) &%
29. Feyisara Adaramola - 11.95 (+2.2)

800-Meter Run (RQS: 2:09.80)
6. Shantile Blackburn - 2:09.57 &%#

400 IH (RQS: 1:00.82)
35. Olinka Crusoe - 1:04.43 &

# - Indicates Regional Qualifying Score
& - Denotes Personal-Best Mark
@ - Denotes Season-Best Mark
% - Indicates UCF School Record
^ - Denotes Pepsi Florida Relays Meet Record

UCF Men's Results (Non-Traditional Season)

400-Meter Dash
21. Brandon Williams - 48.11

Directions to James G. Pressly Stadium from Orlando
Take SR-528/Bee Line West to Florida Turnpike ... Take Turnpike to I-75 North ... Take I-75 North to exit 76/387 (Newberry Road) ... Turn right at light (Newberry Road), go East for six miles ... Stay in right lane, veer right onto route 26A (S.W. 2nd Ave.) ... Continue past SW 34th St. (Golf course is on your right) ... Turn right onto Woodlawn Dr. (Just past tennis complex) ... James G. Pressly Stadium is on your left.

Saturday's Scheduled UCF Competitors

Discus B (RQS: 47.30m/155-2) - 11:30 a.m.

Sprint Medley Relay (Not an NCAA event) - 12:00 p.m.

  • UCF `A'

Distance Medley Relay (Not an NCAA outdoor event) - 2:30 p.m.

  • UCF `A'

Pole Vault B (RQS: 3.85m/12-7.50) - 2:30 p.m.

  • Brittany McDermott

Steeplechase (RQS: 10:50.25) - 2:45 p.m.

4x800-Meter Relay (Not an NCAA event) - 6:00 p.m.

  • UCF `A'

Triple Jump A (RQS: 12.32m/40-5) - 6:00 p.m.

5,000-Meter Run (RQS: 16:52.00) - 7:25 p.m.

4x400-Meter Relay (RQS: 3:42.00) - 9:25 p.m.

  • UCF `A'

Saturday's Complete Pepsi Florida Relays Schedule
11:30 a.m. - Discus B
11:30 a.m. - Javelin B
12:00 p.m. - SMR
12:30 p.m. - SHR
1:30 p.m. - Triple Jump B
2:30 p.m. - Pole Vault B
2:30 p.m. - DMR
2:45 p.m. - Steeplechase
3:00 p.m. - Discus A
4:10 p.m. - 4x100-Meter Relay
4:30 p.m. - Shot Put A
6:00 p.m. - Javelin A
6:00 p.m. - 4x800-Meter Relay
6:00 p.m. - Triple Jump A
6:30 p.m. - Invite 200-Meter Relay
7:25 p.m. - 5,000-Meter Run
9:25 p.m. - 4x400-Meter Relay