UCF's East Regionals Preview: Track Events

May 28, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After a second-place finish in the Conference USA Championships, the UCF track and Field team sends a program-best nine athletes to Greensboro, N.C., this weekend for the NCAA East Regionals. The two-day event hosted by North Carolina A&T gets underway on Friday at Irwin Belk Track.

With numerous athletes competing in multiple events, head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert's team will have 15 entries in the regional meet. The East Regional is one of four taking place this weekend across the country. The top five finishers from each event in each regional automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships on June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.

To follow the Knights throughout the regionals, log on to read a live meet journal on UCFAthletics.com and check out the live results at http://durhamstriders.com/09ncaaregional/.

Below is a preview of the track events that UCF will have athletes competing.

100-meter dash - Prelims: Friday, 6 p.m.; Finals: 6:05 p.m.
Freshman Sheila Paul (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.), competing in a team-high three events at regionals, gets her individual action underway with the 100-meter dash prelims on Friday evening. The school and freshman record holder in the event improved her time in the finals of the event at the C-USA Championships, crossing the line in third place with a time of 11.51. That time ranks 34th nationally in 2009.

100-meter hurdles - Prelims: Friday, 5:20 p.m.; Finals: Saturday, 5:45 p.m.
A trio of Knights will compete in the program's strongest event this season, the 100-meter hurdles. The group is led by junior Tiki James (Miami, Fla.), who with a season-best time of 13.20 ranks 11th nationally heading into the NCAA Championships.

Freshman Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) enters regionals coming off her best performance of the season at the C-USA Championships. The freshman improved her freshman school record with a second-place run of 13.27, a time that ranks 14th in the country. Sophomore Micaela Wimberly (Miami, Fla.) ranks 34th nationally after running a personal-best time of 13.51 at the conference meet to finish third.

200-meter dash - Prelims: Friday, 8:40 p.m.; Finals: Saturday, 7 p.m.
In her second individual event, Paul will compete in the 200-meter dash prelims late Friday night. Paul also holds both the freshman and school records in the event. With her top time of 23.95 on March 28 in the UCF Invitational, Paul ranks 65th in the country in 2009. In the C-USA meet, she crossed in fifth place with a time of 24.07.

400-meter hurdles - Prelims: Friday, 5 p.m.; Finals: Saturday, 6:40 p.m.
Sophomore Lizzie Harris (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Aisha-Maree Frazier (Marietta, Ga.) will both look to advance to the finals of the 400-meter hurdles with strong runs Friday. Harris claimed the title in the event at the C-USA Championships before being disqualified for a lead leg infraction. She is the school record holder in the event with a top time of 58.92 seconds, which ranks 32nd nationally in 2009. Frazier has been hampered by injuries during much of the season, but qualified for regionals with a top time of 1:00.46 and finished fourth at the C-USA Championships.

4x100-meter relay - Prelims: Friday, 4 p.m.; Finals: Saturday, 5 p.m.
The UCF 4x100-meter relay team will consist of James, Coward, Wimberly and Paul at regionals. The team has shuffled its lineup some throughout the season, with UCF's best time of 45.22 coming on March 21 at the Black & Gold Challenge.

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