Hurdles Battle Highlights UCF Track's Day One at PSU National

Jan. 30, 2009

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Day one of the Penn State National Invitational at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track was a roller coaster for the UCF track and field team Friday, with the opening five events of the invitational seeing two more school and two more freshman records fall but also the unfortunate loss of senior captain Sheree Carter (Tallahassee, Fla.) to an injury.

Competing in the pentathlon, Carter jumped out to a quick start in the first event, shattering her personal best in the 60-meter hurdles after crossing in fourth place with an 8.74. The school-record holder in the event moved to the high jump, but suffered a dislocated kneecap to end her day and indoor season.

"It was the beginning of a great pentathlon, but unfortunately a freak accident occurred and we lost Sheree for awhile," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "She is for sure done for the indoor season, and we are not sure yet about outdoors. I always parallel track meets to battles, and I always tell the athletes that sometimes casualties happen and someone goes down. One of her teammates will have a chance to step up in Sheree's spot and help us to the conference championship."

In the 60-meter hurdles, James and Coward went back and forth with great performances. Entering Friday, both athletes had already set NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the event and broken the previous school records in the event earlier this season. James, a junior, entered the day with the school-record time of 8.30 while Coward's best time of 8.38 was the freshman record.

In the preliminaries, James (8.39) and Coward (8.45) cruised through to the next round, and were joined by sophomore Micaela Wimberly, who ran a personal-best 8.52. Coward then finished fourth in the semifinals, shattering her previous mark and breaking James' record with an 8.25. Equaling that mark in the finals to tie the school record, James edged Coward (8.28) in the finals for third place. The new times for both improved their earlier provisional qualifying marks.

"On the bright side we had two more solid qualify marks in the 60-meter hurdles," said Smith Gilbert. "Jackie Coward set the freshman and school records in the semifinals, and Tiki James tied her mark in the finals. It was an exciting event and all in all it was a good day."

Records also fell for UCF in the 60-meter dash, where freshman Sheila Paul (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.) broke both the freshman and school records in the semifinals with a time of 7.49. Paul finished in sixth place in the event's finals.

LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla.) eclipsed her previous personal best in the weight throw by over three feet and came in sixth place with a toss of 57-7.25. Her mark was just shy of Tiffany Roebuck's nearly three-year old school record of 57-9.

Full results from the Knights' opening day are below. UCF will compete in a full slate of events on day two of the meet Saturday in University Park, Pa.

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Penn State National Invitational
Friday, Jan. 30, 2009
60mH (Prelims)
4. Tiki James, 8.39 (P)
6. Jackie Coward, 8.45
10. Micaela Wimberly, 8.52 (PR)
28. Ashley Bolling, 8.99

60mH (semis)
4. Jackie Coward, 8.25 (SR, FR, PR, P)
6. Tiki James, 8.33 (P)
11. Micaela Wimberly, 8.61

60mH (finals)
3. Tiki James, 8.25(SR, P)
4. Jackie Coward, 8.28 (P)

60m (Prelims)
7. Sheila Paul, 7.56
15. Dione Thomas, 7.68

60m (Semis)
4. Sheila Paul, 7.49 (PR, FR, SR)
13. Dione Thomas, 7.66

60m (finals)
6. Sheila Paul, 7.54

Weight Throw
6. LaKendra Thames, 57-7.75/17.57m
- (16.85m, 16.22m, 17.57m, 17.41m, 17.50m, 16.18m)
14. Jessica Francis, 49-8.25/15.14m
- FOUL, 14.38m, 15.14m
16. Kelsey Poljansek, 49-1.50/14.97m
- 14.85m, FOUL, 14.97m

Long Jump
T7. Dione Thomas, 19-2.75/5.86m
- 5.69m, 5.86m, 5.69m, 5.62m, 5.86m, 5.69m
9. Tiki James, 19-0.75
- 5.81m, FOUL, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass

DNF. Sheree Carter
- 60mH - 8.74, 4th (PR)
- High Jump - 5-0.25/1.58m, 8th

P = NCAA Provisional Qualifying Mark
SR = school record
FR = freshman record
PR = personal record