Three Knights Earn Bright House Student-Athlete of the Week Honors

March 16, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla (www.ucfathletics.com) - All three UCF athletes that competed on day two of the NCAA Indoor Championships collected All-American honors, earning each one of them Bright House Networks Student-Athlete of the Week accolades. Senior Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.), junior Tiki James (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) each finished among the top 10 Americans in their respective events to gain the distinction of NCAA All-Americans.

In the 60-meter hurdles, James and Coward became the first UCF athletes to score points in the NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing in fifth and seventh respectively in the finals of the event. James, a junior, crossed the line in 8.20 seconds to take fifth place and earn four points. Coward concluded an impressive freshman indoor campaign with a time of 8.34. She took seventh place and earned two points for the Knights.

In the triple jump, Thomas did not make the finals but still gained NCAA All-American honors with a strong performance. The senior used a mark of 42-2.75/12.87m to tie for tenth in the event.

With six points on the day, UCF tied for 35th at the meet, the first time in the program's history it has earned a team score and placed at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Tennessee finished the championships with 42 points to claim the national title by five points over host Texas A&M. UCF was also the highest finishing Conference USA school in the meet.

"It was a historic weekend for our program. To have three student-athletes qualify for nationals and to get three All-Americans is just absolutely monumental," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "I am extremely excited about the performance."

With the indoor season in the books, UCF will turn its attention to the outdoor campaign, which gets underway next Saturday at home as Texas, Florida and Bethune-Cookman come to Oralndo for the Black & Gold Challenge at the UCF track and field complex. The meet will also serve as senior day for the Knights.

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.