Freeman, a seven-time state champion, chose UCF after being heavily recruited by several schools around the nation. Winner of the 100 and 200 meters in each of her first three years at Lake Wales Charter School, Freeman also won the state long jump title her junior season.
“I am very excited to have Octavious joining our program,” Smith Gilbert said. “She is a great person and student-athlete that can bring a lot of talent to our team in the coming years. Her drive and competitive nature are also very exciting and we look forward to having her and her family be a part of the UCF family.”
Smith Gilbert, a coach for the 2009 US IAAF World Outdoor Championships, helped lead the Knights to the 2010 Conference USA Championship, while being named the league’s Coach of the Year in the process. The success of the Knights and UCF’s proximity to Lake Wales played a role in Freeman’s signing Wednesday afternoon.
Last June, Freeman ran one of the fastest times in nation in the 100 meters at the Great Southwest Track & Field Classic in New Mexico, winning gold in the both the 100 and 200 at the meet. Just two weeks later, she placed first in the same events at the Nike Outdoor Nationals, the premier high school track meet in the country. Her time of 11.27 in the 100 was a new meet record, while winning the 200 by a half second.
Freeman will run in both the 100 and 200 meters at UCF with the opportunity to also compete in the long jump.
The Knights return to action next weekend when they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 11-12 for the Tyson Invitational.