UCF's James Named C-USA's Athlete of the Week

Jan. 20, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior Tiki James has been named the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. The season-opening Kentucky Invitational was the first meet James competed in as a Knight after transferring from Miami (Fla.) and sitting out a season ago. James was also tabbed as the UCF track and field athlete of the week.

The Miami, Fla., native competed in two events for UCF at the meet in Lexington, Ky. In the 60-meter hurdles, James broke the previous school record running an 8.41 in the preliminaries. In the finals, she bested that time and posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. With a time of 8.30, James finished third in the event. Freshman Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) also posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark (8.38) in the event.

"Tiki had a great start to her UCF career, posting an NCAA qualifying mark in the 60-meter hurdles and breaking the school record," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "She worked hard in the offseason and this is a very deserving honor for her. I am excited to see that everything she has been working on is paying off."

James also competed in the long jump, and with a leap of 18-9.25 finished in fifth in the finals.

The honor was the program's third weekly award and first during an indoor season. Current senior Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sophomore Lizzie Harris (Miami, Fla.) both won the award during the 2008 outdoor season.

All told for the event, 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.

UCF will be back in action 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.