School Records Fall on Day Three of C-USA Championships

May 16, 2010

By Andrew Gavin

C-USA Championship Central

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Led a school-record performances by senior LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla.) and sophomore Sheila Paul (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.), UCF jumped to sixth position after day three of the Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the UCF Track & Field Complex on Saturday. The Knights are hosting the event in Orlando for the first time since UCF joined C-USA.

SMU holds the lead in the women's standings after seven events with 50 points. Rice (39), East Carolina (36), UTEP (32) and UAB (28) round out the top five in front of the Knights. In the men's championship, Houston (64) holds a slight two-point edge over ECU (62).

Thames bested her previous personal best by nearly two meters and easily broke the school record with a top throw of 174-4/53.14m. Her mark was less than a meter behind defending champion and heavy favorite Simone du Toit from SMU. Thames earned eight points in the event while teammate Jessica Francis (Orlando, Fla.) took three points for fifth place.

In the prelims of the competitive 200m, Paul won her heat by topping the school record she already owned. Her time of 23.88 ranked fifth among the field. Paul will also be in the finals in the 100-meter dash after running the event in 11.53 seconds.

The two school records overshadowed an impressive day by sophomore Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) in the prelims of the 100- and 400-meter hurdles. Coward flew down the track in the 100, crossing the line in 13.07 seconds to easily beat the rest of the field. The time would have been a C-USA meet record if not for being wind-aided. She will be joined in the finals by teammates Tiki James (Miami, Fla.) and Micaela Wimberly,(Miami, Fla.) who each won their respective heats.

In the 400-meter hurdles, Coward eased across the line and still held the top prelim time at 1:01.49. The sophomore will be the favorite to win both hurdles events on Sunday, with the 100-meter final set for 6:45 p.m. and the 400-meter final is slated for 7:50 p.m. Sophomore Aisha-Maree Frazier (Marietta, Ga.) will join Coward in the 400-meter final.

Junior Carley Dart (Whitby, Ontario) qualified for the finals in the 800-meter run by claiming the victory in her heat. Dart had the fifth-best preliminary time (2:10.81).

Olympic Bronze medalist and seven-time All-American, Blessing Okagbare of UTEP repeated her women's long title with a leap of 6.58m (21-7.25"). The senior also clocked the fastest prelim time of 11.04 i>n the 100m dash to advance to Sunday's finals of the event, which will be held at 7:15 p.m.

Sunday's action will get underway with the women's javelin at 1 p.m. while the running events will begin at 6 p.m. with the 1,500-meter run. Tickets will be available at the event for $12 for adults and $7 for children.

More information about the championships, including a full schedule of events, records and live results, can be accessed at C-USA Championship Central.

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.

2010 Conference USA Championships
Team Results
2. SMU, 50
2. Rice, 39
3. ECU, 36
4. UTEP, 32
5. UAB, 28
6. UCF, 24.50
7. Tulsa, 21
8. Southern Miss, 17
9. Houston, 14
10. Memphis, 5.50
11. Marshall
11. Tulane, 3

Hammer Throw
2. LaKendra Thames, 174-4/53.14m, (SR, PR) (8 points earned)
5. Jessica Francis, 145-2/44.25m

Long Jump
2. Sonnisha Williams, 20-6.25/6.25m (+2.4) (8)
6. Jacquelyn Gilchrist, 19-9.75/6.04m (+1.9) (PR) (3)

Pole Vault
T8. Erica Weiss, 10-10.75/3.32m (0.5)

100mH Prelims
1. Jackie Coward, 13.07 (+3.4) (PR) - Q
2. Tiki James, 13.46 (+2.6) - Q
3. Micaela Wimberly, 13.81 (+2.0) - Q

400m Prelims
10. Champelle Brown, 55.92
12. Aisha-Maree Frazier, 56.28 (PR)
19. Sonnisha Williams, 57.46 (PR)
25. Dan'Elle Bellamy, 1:00.28

100m Prelims
5. Sheila Paul, 11.53 (+2.6) - q
12. Tiki James, 11.96 (+2.2) (PR)
18. Tomika Story, 12.40 (+1.3) (PR)

800m Prelims
5. Carley Dart, 2:10.81 - Q

400m Hurdles Prelims
2. Jackie Coward, 1:01.49 - Q
8. Aisha-Maree Frazier, 1:02.60 - q

200m Prelims
5. Sheila Paul, 23.88 (+1.7) (SR, PR) - Q
18. Champelle Brown, 24.71 (+2.0)
21. Micaela Wimberly, 25.02 (+0.3)

3,000-meter steeplechase
9. Jamie Rzepecki, 11:08.20
15. Mason Gardberg, 11:54.49

SR - School Record
PR - Personal Record
Q - Qualified for finals with meet win
q - Qualified for finals based on time