UCF Well Represented at NCAA Championships This Weekend

March 10, 2011

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By Pat Salvas

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF indoor track & field team will send four individual athletes and its 4x400-meter relay team to College Station, Texas, this weekend to compete in the 2011 NCAA Championships at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. The meet, hosted by Texas A&M, starts Friday and runs through Saturday afternoon.

Freshmen Aurieyall Scott and Dominique Booker will both run in the 60 and 200 meters. In the 60 meters, both Scott and Booker ran a program best 7.24 in the event this season to automatically qualify for this weekend's meet.

In the 200, Scott automatically qualified with a school record 23.17 at Penn State. Booker's 23.26 was a personal best and earned her the 15th fastest time in the nation this season and eventually a spot at Texas A&M.

Junior Jackie Coward is back at Nationals in the 60-meter hurdles. Coward ran three-straight school records in this event at the Tyson Invitational last month. The third heat produced the fastest time in the nation to date as Coward won in 8.06. She had run an 8.09 and an 8.08 in the preliminaries and semifinals before her record run in the finals.

All three won individual championships at the Conference USA meet two weeks ago in Houston. Scott won the 60 meters, while Booker claimed the 200 meter title. For the second year in a row, Coward finished first in the conference in the 60-meter relay.

Sophomore Sonnisha Williams earned a spot in the long jump with a mark of 20-9.0/6.32m to win at the Hokie Invitational. The jump was a new UCF record and eventually earned her a spot at Texas A&M with the 13th best mark in 2011.

With one final opportunity to guarantee itself a spot in the 4x400-meter relay this weekend, UCF ran a school record 3:34.00 at Notre Dame in last Saturday's Alex Wilson Invitational. The NCAA automatic qualifying time this season is 3:34.00 as the Knights became only the sixth team in the nation this season to reach the mark.

Earlier this week, Caryl Smith Gilbert was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) South Region Head Coach of the Year for guiding the Knights to their first-ever C-USA indoor title. Smith Gilbert was also named the C-USA Women's Indoor Track Coach of the Year following UCF's 123.5-point performance at Houston's Yeoman Fieldhouse.

This week, the Knights jumped up to No. 9 in the USTFCCCA weekly rankings after landing at No. 13 last week.