Dione Thomas Notches Second Regional-Qualifying Mark of Season at Florida Relays


April 6, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior UCF jumper Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) 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 as the Knights capped off a strong performance at a rain-shortened 64th-annual Pepsi Florida Relays. The two-day event was hosted by the University of Florida at James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track.

In addition to Thomas' regional-qualifying mark, the Knights also set the school record in the sprint medley relay. UCF finished the SMR in a time of 3:57.55, which shattered the school's previous record of 4:12.40, set during the 1998 campaign. The relay team consisted of Feyisara Adaramola (Bronx, N.Y.), Thomas, Victoria Chin (Orlando, Fla.) and Shantile Blackburn (Brooklyn, N.Y.) It marked the 15th school record (indoor and outdoor) set this season under the direction of first-year head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, and the third school record broken through two meets in this year's outdoor campaign.

The Knights finished the weekend with eight personal-best marks and times, three school records and two NCAA regional-qualifying scores. Blackburn on Friday qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 800-meter run. In just two outdoor meets this season, UCF has already matched last season's total (2) of NCAA regional-qualifying marks. The NCAA East Regional Championships take place May 30-31 at Tallahassee, Fla.

"Dione Thomas had a great day today, qualifying for regionals," Smith Gilbert said. "One of our goals coming into this weekend's meet was to achieve regional-qualifying marks. To come out of the meet with two regional qualifiers is a great feat. Our sprint medley relay broke the school record and had a very good showing. The handoffs weren't as good as they could have been and we were still able to break the school record. The exciting thing is if they are able to do the handoffs correctly, I feel like we can be about five or six seconds faster when we run the SMR again at the Penn Relays.

"This was a very good track meet for us and we're looking forward to building on this," Smith Gilbert continued. "We'll be ready to go to Miami next weekend to try to get more regional-qualifying marks and personal bests."

Junior pole vaulter Brittney McDermott (Oviedo, Fla.) tied her personal-best mark in the event with a leap of 10-6 (3.20m).

"Brittney McDermott is really starting to come around in the pole vault and getting used to a bigger pole," Smith Gilbert said. "Whenever she is able to do what she does in practice in a meet, she will be over 12 feet."

Senior Elizabeth Miller (Orlando, Fla.) notched a personal-best time of 11:22.61 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, which bested her previous PR of 11:37.27 accomplished last season at the Disney Invitational.

UCF's distance medley relay team just barely missed breaking the outdoor school record in the event. The Knights finished sixth with a time of 12:06.88, while the school record, set in 2007, is 12:06.86.

UCF returns to action Saturday, April 12, when it travels to Coral Gables, Fla., for the second time this outdoor season to compete in the Miami Elite Invitational hosted by the University of Miami.

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 - Day 2 Highlights


  • UCF set one school record, notched one NCAA regional-qualifying score, and three PRs on Saturday.
  • Dione Thomas recorded an NCAA regional-qualifying mark in the triple jump with a leap of 40-10.50 (12.46m).
  • The Knights broke the school-record in the Sprint Medley Relay with a time of 3:57.55.
  • Elizabeth Miller recorded a personal-best time of 11:21.61 in the steeplechase.
  • Brittney McDermott tied her personal-best mark in the pole vault with a leap of 10-6.00 (3.20m).