Knights Solid on Day One of UCF Invitational


March 27, 2009


ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Led by junior Kelsey Poljansek's (Milton, Kan.) school record in the shot put, the UCF track and field team fared well on a light day one of action in the UCF Invitational Friday evening at the UCF Track and Field Complex. Senior Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.)also had a strong performance in the long jump, notching an NCAA regional qualifying mark.

"We got the weekend off to a good start," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "With a dominant effort in the shot put, Kelsey Poljansek convincingly broke the school record and we are very proud of her. The other throwers also opened up well. It was nice to see Zakeya Stinson compete as an unattached athlete and we look forward to her wearing the black and gold next season. Dione Thomas and Jacqueline Gilchrist (Tallahassee, Fla.) each had some great attempts in the long jump. Erica Weitz (Morganville, N.J.) had a PR and Jamie Rzepecki (East Aurora, N.Y.) won the steeplechase so that was a good showing for them as well. Ocean Cohen (Sarasota, Fla.) also ran a steady race for us. Tomorrow we should some have some real good marks because it is supposed to be nice sunny weather with great teams to compete with."

Poljansek, a junior transfer who also set the indoor record for the shot put this season, saved her best effort for her sixth and final throw. She posted a mark of 49-1.0/14.96m, a throw which bested the previous school record of 47-8.50 by nearly a foot and a half. Throwing unattached, Zakeya Stinson finished fourth in the event with a throw of 47-7.25/14.52m. Junior LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla.), the previous record holder, claimed sixth with a toss of 44-8.0/13.61m.

In the long jump, Thomas jumped 19-11.50/6.08, just missing the school record by three-quarters of an inch. The mark qualifies her for the NCAA East Regionals and was also good for second on the day. Gilchrist used a wind-aided mark of 19-6.75/5.96m to finish fourth in the event.

Rzepecki recorded UCF's lone victory on the evening, claiming the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a nine-second victory over her teammate Weitz. Rzepecki ran the course in 11:22.69 while Weitz crossed the line in 11:31.68. Both athletes set new personal bests. In the day's final event, Ocean Cohen finished in 40:11.53 to claim second place.

UCF and the rest of the field will begin a full day of action Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. with the hammer throw and the pole vault. Running events are slated to begin at noon and continue until 4:20 p.m. with the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays.

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