Booker broke her own school and freshman record in the finals of the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.26. Last week at the Kentucky Invitational, Booker set the previous record of 7.29 in the finals to claim first place. Friday, Booker qualified by winning her heat in 7.34 only to set the mark in the finals, finishing third overall.
The freshman sprinter’s time was not only a new school and freshman record, but also an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Championships in early March.
“Dominique was outstanding for us tonight,” head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. “Running an automatic qualifying time this early in the season was great for both her and the whole group as a whole.”
In the 60-meter hurdles, Coward broke Tiki James’ school record of 8.17 with an 8.16 to finish second overall on Friday night. The junior hurdler tied her personal-best mark in the event with the provisional qualifying time, just two-hundredths of a second off an automatic qualifier. Coward also had the best time after preliminaries as she ran an 8.26 in her first heat.
Mica Wimberly and Karessa Farley also ran in the 60-meter hurdles with Coward. Wimberly finished fifth in the finals in 8.48, while Farley was seventh in 8.52.
Joining Booker in the 60-meter dash finals were freshman Aurieyall Scott and junior Sheila Paul. Scott finished fourth in 7.29, a mark that would have been a school and freshman record had it not been for Booker edging her in the same heat. Paul was the next to finish after Scott, crossing the line in 7.43 and fifth place.
Seniors Lynne Layne (7.57) and Wimberly (7.72) and freshman Tyler Smith (7.69) all ran well in the preliminaries, but failed to advance out of their heats.
“Our goals for this meet were to execute race tactics and come out healthy,” Smith Gilbert said. “I thought we did that here tonight.
“The team is tired from training so hard all year to get to this point. I am pleased that despite them being tired, they continue to come out and lower their times each week,” Smith Gilbert added.
Senior Carley Dart bested her previous collegiate best time in the 600 meters by more than three and a half seconds. Running a 1:34.07 on Friday, Dart finished fourth overall and first in her heat. Coming into the event, her previous best in the event was 1:37.65, set last January at the Carle Classic.
Not to be outdone, freshman Afia Charles continued UCF’s trend of strong performances with a personal-best time in the 300 meters. Charles finished third overall and third in her heat, arguably the strongest of the 10. Her time of 38.91 bested her previous mark of 39.79 in the 300 meters.
After not jumping in the first meet of the season last weekend, Tomika Story became the first member of the Knights to compete in the triple jump in 2011. Story’s first jump of 38-11.50/11.87m stood up as her best, placing her seventh in a field of more than 30 on Friday afternoon.
UCF vaulters sophomore Erica Weiss and freshman London Enos did not have the same issues with equipment they had a week ago and it showed with improved marks on Friday. Weiss cleared 11-1.75/3.20m to finish seventh, while Enos’ vault of 10-6.0/3.20m placed her eighth.
“The vaulters really competed well tonight,” assistant coach Jeff Chakouian said. “I thought that their performances tonight were a step in the right direction and a good indication of where we will be by the end of the season.”
Freshman Satrina Oliveira continues to make strides in the weight throw. Oliveira is still getting used to the new 20-lb. collegiate weight level and improved on her from last weekend by more than six feet on Friday. Her throw of 37-11.50/11.57m was a new personal best in the event.
“Satrina continues to get better,” Chakouian added. “This is still a new event for her and I know that she will continue to make adjustments and improvements as we get further along into the season.”
The Knights will continue Saturday with eight events scheduled. UCF will compete in the high jump, long jump, shot put, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, the distance medley relay and the 4×400-meter relay all on day two of the Hokie Invitational which will get underway at 10 a.m.