UCF Posts Two NCAA Qualifying Marks on Day Two of Kentucky Invite


Jan. 17, 2009

Complete Results

LEXINGTON, Ky. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior Tiki James and freshman Jackie Coward posted NCAA qualifying marks in the 60-meter hurdles, and freshman Brittany Long broke two school records as the UCF track and field team concluded competition at day two of the highly-competitive Kentucky Invitational Saturday in Lexington, Ky. The meet served as the 2009 indoor season opener for the Knights.

All told for the event, head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert's squad had two NCAA provisional qualifying marks, broke five school records and three freshman records, had one individual event winner and set 11 personal bests.

"All in all it was a good day for the Black and Gold as everyone did a great job of executing," said Smith Gilbert. "As to be expected, a lot of our athletes had their first race. Our staff chose this meet because of the high level of competition it presented. We wanted to see where we matched up, and we will continue to compete in the best meets possible in order to put ourselves in position to compete at high level at conference and score points at the NCAA Championships."

In the 60-meter hurdles, three Knights - James, Coward and Mica Wimberly - qualified for the finals with strong performances in the prelims. James broke the school record crossing in 8.41 while Coward (8.47) was ahead of the previous school record as well. Each of the three improved on their times in the finals, with James (8.30) finishing third, Coward (8.38) taking fifth and Wimberly (8.56) earning seventh. All three times were ahead of the school record entering the day, with James now holding the record and Coward setting a freshman record in her first meet.

In the shot put, junior newcomer Kelsey Poljansek took 12th place and inserted her name into the school record books with a toss of 45-5.0/13.84m.

Long and fellow freshman Sheila Paul fared well in the 60-meter dash, with Long breaking the school and freshman records in the finals when she crossed in 7.51, good for seventh place. Paul was right behind her in tenth place, finishing in 7.56, a mark that would have tied the previous school record.

Long was back at it again in the 200-meter dash, flying past the line in 24:04 to take fourth place and break the previous school and freshman records, set last season by teammate Lizzie Harris. Paul (10th, 24.61), Coward (15th, 24.83) and Wimberly (20th, 25.20) all set personal bests in the event.

In the 800-meter run, senior Shantile Blackburn took first place in the event, breaking her own school record with a time of 2:09.74. Freshman Kathia Skinner set a personal best in the event, finishing in 13th place (2:20.28).

Harris, an NCAA indoor All-American as a freshman in the high jump in 2008, finished second in the event Saturday by clearing 5-9.25/1.76m.

"We will look to build on what happened today and improve upon it next week at Florida," said Smith Gilbert. "I think everyone learned today that everyone can compete, and it is the person who best handles the pressure who comes out on top. We have a lot of work to do in different areas, but I am confident we will handle those areas as we prepare for the Conference USA meet in five weeks and the NCAA championships in seven.

UCF will be back in action next Saturday, Jan. 24, when the team travels to Gainesville to participate in the Florida Invitational.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Kentucky Invitational - Day Two
Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009
High Jump
2. Lizzie Harris, 5-9.25/1.76m
13. Sheree Carter, 5-5.25/1.66m

Shot Put
12. Kelsey Poljansek, 45-5.0/13.84m (SR)

Long Jump
5. Tiki James, 18-9.25, 5.72m
8. Dione Thomas, 18-5.25/5.62m

60-meter hurdles
3. Tiki James, 8.41 (Prov) (SR)
6. Jackie Coward, 8.47 (SR, FR)
16. Mica Wimberly, 8.81
19. Sheree Carter, 9.01
3. Tiki James, 8.30 (P, SR)
5. Jackie Coward, 8.38 (P, SR, FR) 7. Mica Wimberly, 8.56 (SR, PR)

60-meter dash
14. Brittany Long, 7.59
14. Sheila Paul, 7.59
33. Dione Thomas, 7.81
7. Brittany Long, 7.51 (SR, FR)
10.Sheila Paul, 7.56 (would be SR, FR, PR)

19. Katrina Skinner, 5:16.94 (PR)

400-meter dash
11. Lizzie Harris, 56.75
17. Aisha-Maree Frazier, 57.94

800-meter run
1. Shantile Blackburn, 2:09.74 (SR, PR)
13. Kathia Skinner, 2:20.28 (PR)

200-meter dash
4. Brittany Long, 24.04 (SR, FR, PR)
10. Sheila Paul, 24.61 (PR)
15. Jackie Coward, 24.83 (PR)
20. Mica Wimberly, 25.20 (PR)

3,000-meter run
29. Jamie Rzepecki, 10:39.13
34. Erica Weitz, 10:43.11 (PR)

4x400-meter relay
9. UCF `A' - Frazier, Blackburn, Harris, Thomas 3:48.01