UCF Opens Season at Kentucky Invitational


Jan. 16, 2010

Complete Results

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Two of the best hurdlers in the country in 2009, Tiki James (Miami, Fla.) and Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.), started the 2010 indoor season with strong performances, setting NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the 60-meter hurdles as UCF opened 2010 at the Kentucky Invitational.

James and Coward, both NCA All-Americans in the event a year ago, finished as the top two collegiate finishers Saturday. James finished fourth overall in the finals with a time of 8.22 while Coward crossed in 8.39 for sixth overall.

Jessica Francis (Tampa, Fla.) was a highlight for the throwers, setting new personal records in both the weight throw and the shot put. Francis was 21st in the weight throw with an effort of 15.74m/51-7.75 and 13th in the shot put with a best toss of 14.07m/46-2.0. Teammate LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla.) also set a PR in the weight throw, finishing in 18th place (16.07m/52-8.75).

"Things went as to be expected," said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. "When you have a team that is made up mostly of athletes from Florida, indoor track and field is foreign to them and it takes a few meets for them to get used to running indoors. We had numerous solid performances, but we have a lot of work to do still. It is a good start. Hopefully we will go home, learn from these mistakes and move forward to next week in Illinois."

Two newcomers had strong efforts in the jumps, with freshman Sonnisha Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) finishing fourth in the long jump with a best jump of 5.92m/19-5.25 and junior transfer Tomika Story (Orange Park, Fla.) finished fourth and set a PR in the triple jump (12.07m/39-7.25).

The Knights' 4x400-meter relay team finished in seventh place with a time of 3:48.13. Juniors Champelle Brown (Oakland, Calif.) and Micaela Wimberly (Miami, Fla.) joined Williams and Coward on the relay team.

UCF returns to action next Saturday in Champaign, Ill., competing in the Carle/Health Alliance Invitational.

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.

Kentucky Invitational - Jan. 15-16, 2010
Weight Throw

18. LaKendra Thames, 16.07m/52-8.75 (PR)
21. Jessica Francis, 15.74m/51-7.75 (PR)
32. Ashley Kirkpatrick, 13.29m/43-7.25

Shot Put
13. LaKendra Thames, 14.07m/46-2.0
24. Jessica Francis, 12.53m/41-1.5 (PR)

Long Jump
4. Sonnisha Williams, 5.92m/19-5.25
9. Jacquelyn Gilchrist, 5.64m/18-6.0
25. Tomika Story, 5.30m/17-4.75
31. Samantha Shields, 5.11m/16-9.25

Triple Jump
4. Tomika Story, 12.07m/39-7.25 (PR)

60-meter hurdles (prelims)
3. Tiki James, 8.27 (P)
10. Jackie Coward, 8.54
21. Micaela Wimberly, 8.82
31. Ashley Bolling, 9.07
39. Samantha Shields, 9.44

60-meter hurdles (finals)
4. Tiki James, 8.22 (P)
6. Jackie Coward, 8.39 (P)

60-meter dash (prelims)
25. Amanda Leland, 7.77

47. Alyssa Franks, 5:37.17

400-meter dash
12. Champelle Brown, 56.32
36. Dan'Elle Bellamny, 1:00.96
37. Aisha-Maree Frazier, 1:01.22

200-meter dash
14. Jackie Coward, 24.75
19. Champelle Brown, 25.02
24. Tiki James, 25.35
26. Sonnisha Williams, 25.47
30. Micaela Wimberly, 25.59
37. Amanda Leland, 25.98
43. Ashley Bolling, 26.34
45. Dan'Elle Bellamy, 26.44
53. Santrelle Atkins, 27.10

3,000-meter run
32. Erica Weitz, 10:52.92
33. Ocean Cohen, 10:53.65

4x400-meter relay
7. UCF `A' (Brown, Williams, Coward, Wimberly), 3:48.13
15. UCF `B' (Frazier, Leland, Bellamy, Shields), 4:06.17

P = NCAA Provisional Qualifier
PR = Personal Record