Track & Field Wraps Up Competition at NCAA Championship

June 12, 2009

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The most successful season in UCF outdoor track and field history came to a conclusion today as three more Knights competed at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship at the University of Arkansas' John McDonnell Field.

Overall, the Knights sent five different student-athletes to the NCAA Championships in 2009, four of which will return to the team next year. Prior to this year, UCF had sent just one representative to the outdoor NCAAs in its entire history (LesSundra Ford in the high jump in 2004). This comes on the heels of a winter season which saw the Knights earn the program's first three indoor All-American honors, awards claimed by senior Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the triple jump and both junior Tiki James (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) in the 60 meter hurdles.

"It was nice to finish this season with five qualifiers for the NCAAs," UCF head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "This has been a great experience to share with the team and we hope to be back here at some point to challenge for the team championship. In the future we will be able to come to nationals with higher goals. I am very proud of everybody this year."

Thomas and James were two of the three Knights in action on Friday in Fayetteville. James ran in the semifinals of the 100 meter hurdles and was sixth in her heat, 12th overall, with a time of 13.45 seconds. Thomas took part in the triple jump preliminaries where she finished 24th with a 41-1.5/12.53m leap.

Sophomore Lizzie Harris (Miami, Fla.) also competed for UCF on Friday, participating in the finals of the high jump where she placed 15th by clearing 5-8.5/1.74m.

On Thursday, two UCF discus throwers competed on the national stage in the preliminary rounds. Junior Kelsey Poljansek (Milton, Kan.) placed 19th with a 156-6/47.70m throw while fellow junior LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla.) placed 27th with a 144-9/44.11m throw.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to 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 UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.