James, Coward Post Qualifying Marks for Second-Straight Week


Jan. 24, 2009

Final Stats

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior Tiki James and freshman Jackie Coward posted NCAA qualifying marks for the second-straight week, this time in the 55-meter hurdles, and the UCF track and field team combined to break 17 personal records as the Knights continued their indoor season at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational Saturday at the Stephen O'Connell Center. The meet was hosted by the University of Florida.

All told for the event, head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert's squad had two NCAA provisional qualifying marks, broke two school records and two freshman records, won one event and set 17 personal bests.

"Obviously, it was another good weekend for us," said Smith Gilbert. "The throwers did a good job with personal bests and Kelsey [Poljansek] setting a school record and the distance runners did a good job in their events setting personal bests.

In the shot put, Poljansek, a junior newcomer, took third place and broke the school record she set just a week ago, besting her toss of 45-5.0/13.84m at the Kentucky Invitational with a mark of 47-0.25.

James, the reigning Conference USA Athlete of the Week, again posted an NCAA qualifying mark. The junior transfer took fourth place in the 55-meter hurdles with a school-record and personal-best 7.70. Freshman Jackie Coward took eighth in the finals with a 7.83. Her 7.81 in the preliminaries broke the UCF freshman record and was also an NCAA provisional mark.

Freshman Sheila Paul broke the school's freshman record in the 55-meter dash, crossing the finish line in the preliminaries with in 7.11. Senior Dione Thomas set a personal best in the same event with a 7.20.

The Knights' Distance Medley Relay team won its event in 12:24.33. The squad consisted of senior Shantile Blackburn, sophomore Lizzie Harris, freshman Aisha-Maree Frazier and senior Jamie Rzepecki.

Other personal bests were set by: LaKendra Thames, Jessica Francis and Kelsey Poljansek in the weight throw, Thames in the shot put, Sheree Carter, Jacquelyn Gilchrist and Ashley Bolling in the long jump, Bolling in the 55-meter hurdles, Rzepecki in the mile, Blackburn in the 400-meter run, Katrina and Kathia Skinner in the 800-meter run and Erica Weitz and Allison Palmer in the 3,000-meter run.

"This week the staff is better able to recognize the things that need to be worked on," Smith Gilbert said. "It takes some time to figure out what you are working with, and with two meets in the books now the coaches know what each athlete needs to work on. There are a few people that are going to get some mental training so they can experience race imaging. We are going to get ready for Penn State where the competition will be more from the east coast and give us an understanding of where we are against different competition."

UCF will be back in action next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30-31, when the team travels to State College, Pa., to compete in the Penn State National.

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.

Tom Jones Memorial Invitational
Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009
Weight Throw
4. LaKendra Thames, 54-5.25/16.59m (PR)
6. Jessica Francis, 51-3.75/15.64m (PR)
7. Kelsey Poljansek, 49.8.50/15.15m
9. Ashley Kirkpatrick, 44-8.25m/13.62m (PR)

Shot Put
3. Kelsey Poljansek, 47-0.25/14.3m (SR)
6. LaKendra Thames, 41-8.75/12.72m (PR)

Long Jump
4. Dione Thomas, 19-0.75/5.81m
5. Sheree Carter, 18-7.25/5.67m (PR)
7. Tiki James, 18-0.25, 5.49m
9. Jacquelyn Gilchrist, 17-9.0/5.41m
13. Ashley Bolling, 16-10.0/5.13m

Triple Jump
2. Dione Thomas, 39-6.0/12.04m

7. Tiki James, 7.80
8. Jackie Coward, 7.81
17. Ashley Bolling, 8.34
4. Tiki James, 7.7 (Prov) (SR, PR)
8. Jackie Coward, 7.83 (Prov) (SR, FR)

24. Sheila Paul, 7.11 (FR, PR)
27. Dione Thomas, 7.20 (PR)

13. Jamie Rzepecki, 5:17.52 (PR)

9. Lizzie Harris, 56.92(f)
12. Shantile Blackburn, 58.79(f) (PR)
13. Aisha-Maree Frazier, 58.05(f)
30. Samantha Shields, 1:02.27(f)

5. Katrina Skinner, 2:15.42(f) (PR)
10. Kathia Skinner, 2:19.03(f) (PR)

17. Micaela Wimberly, 25.26(f)

9. Erica Weitz, 10:39.84 (PR)
12. Allison Palmer, 10:43.46 (PR)

Distance Medley Relay
1. UCF `A' (Blackburn, Harris, Frazier, Rzepecki) 12:24.33

P = NCAA Provisional Qualifying
SR = school record
FR = freshman record
PR = personal record
F = time converted