UCF Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season Saturday at Home

March 19, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After an impressive indoor season which saw three athletes earn NCAA Division I All-American honors, the UCF track and field team opens its indoor season Saturday at home, hosting the Black & Gold Challenge at the UCF track and field complex.

The Knights will welcome Texas, Florida and Bethune-Cookman to Orlando for the event, which gets underway at 10 a.m. with the javelin and pole vault. The 4x400-relay will conclude the afternoon at 3:55 p.m. The competitive field includes two teams which concluded the indoor season ranked in the top-15 nationally as Texas was ranked 10th and Florida was ranked 14th in the country.

Head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert's team had a successful outdoor season in 2008, breaking 12 school records and finishing in third place in the Conference USA Outdoor Championships.

The team is coming off a third-place finish in the C-USA Indoor Championships. With a league-best three athletes competing at the NCAA Championships, the Knights finished in a tie for 35th place. All three athletes - senior Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.), junior Tiki James (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) - earned All-American accolades after finishing in the top 10 of their respective events.

Saturday's meet will also serve as Senior Day for the UCF program as the Knights will honor 10 seniors for their commitment to the program prior to the start of the meet. The seniors include Thomas, Shantile Blackburn, Natalie Braddock, Sheree Carter, Olinka Crusoe, Brittney McDermott, Kelly McNeil, Allison Palmer, Shenevia Patterson and Michelle Ranc.

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.

2009 Black & Gold Challenge
UCF Track & Field Complex
Saturday, March 21

Field Events:
10:00 - Javelin
10:00 - Pole Vault
10:45 - Discus
11:00 - High Jump
12:00 - Hammer
1:10 - Long Jump
2:00 - Shot
2:55 - Triple Jump

Running Events:
12:30 - 5000M
12:45 - 3000M Steeplechase
1:15 - 4x100M Relay
1:35 - 100M Hurdles
2:00 - 400M
2:20 - 100M
2:35 - 800M
2:55 - 400M Hurdles
3:20 - 200M
3:35 - 1500M
3:55 - 4x400M Relay