UCF Earns 19 Entries into NCAA East Preliminary Round

May 19, 2011

East Women's Preliminary Round Declared Athletes

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By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Fresh off a second straight Conference USA Championship, the UCF outdoor track & field team will send a school-record 12 student-athletes to the 2011 NCAA East Preliminary Round next weekend in Bloomington, Ind. The Knights will be represented in eight different events in the preliminary round, hosted by Indiana beginning next Thursday.

"I am excited for these young women to get this opportunity to continue their seasons," head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "But, it is important to remember that they all earned their opportunities to run next weekend in Bloomington with their performances this season.

"I am proud of the whole team for the effort demonstrated all season long in getting to this point and our second C-USA outdoor title last weekend was an example of the hard work and dedication shown this year."

Four UCF runners will compete in the 100 meters in Bloomington. After winning the event and earning Freshman and High Point Scorer of the Meet, Aurieyall Scott will lead the way for the Knights. Scott will be joined in the event by Sheila Paul, Dominique Booker and Lynne Layne. The same four will also compete in the 200 meters.

In the 400 meters, two members of the Knights will compete at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex. Freshman Afia Charles, who broke the school record in her preliminary heat Saturday afternoon at Rice, will run alongside senior Champelle Brown in the event.

After sweeping the podium with the top three finishes in the 100-meter hurdles at the conference championships, the trio of Jackie Coward, Mica Wimberly and Karessa Farley will now move to next week's meet. Coward won her second C-USA 100-meter hurdles title in as many years with a meet-record 12.97 in the finals. Wimberly finished second and Farley third to earn All-C-USA honors.

Coward will also join Sandy Jean in the 400-meter hurdles in central Indiana. Coward won the event for the second time at the conference championships after also taking the crown as a freshman in 2009. Jean will make her first appearance at the regionals after taking third in a UCF freshman record 58.84 in Sunday's final heat.

Conference champion in the long Jump Sonnisha Williams posted the second-best jump in the nation this season in her final flight of the conference meet to overtake the leader and claim the league title. Already having tied her own school record of 20-11.75/6.39m in an earlier jump, Williams pushed herself in the finals to eclipse that mark with a new distance of 21-4.00/6.50m to claim the title. Williams will have another UCF jumper alongside as junior Jacquelyn Gilchrist also qualified.

The foursome of Booker, Scott, Layne and Paul will also represent the Knights in the 4x100-meter relay after claiming the C-USA title in a new UCF record of 43.42 Sunday afternoon. That time is the second fastest qualifying mark in the East Preliminary Round and the fourth fastest in the nation this season. The Black and Gold's 4x400-meter relay team is also set to run in Bloomington after claiming the C-USA title Sunday night to sweep the relay events.

The NCAA East Preliminary Round will take place at Indiana's Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex beginning Thursday, May 26 and running through Saturday, May 28. Last year, the Knights sent a then-record 11 student-athletes to the preliminaries in Greensboro, N.C.