With some of the best competition in the country at the UCF Track and Field Complex this weekend, it may have been the Knights that stood out above the rest. The Black and Gold broke several records on the second day of competition Saturday at the UCF Invitational, including the school records in the 4×100-meter relay and the 200 meters.
“We had a lot of fast times and a lot of good marks today and this weekend,” head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. “I was very impressed with the 4×100 relay team, even though we still have some execution glitches to iron out moving forward. Coach Paul Brown has done a great job with the jumpers and the 800 group.”
Early in the afternoon, UCF’s 4×100-meter relay team comprised of Dominique Booker, Aurieyall Scott, Lynne Layne and Sheila Paul broke the previous school record of 45.05 by more than a second, crossing in 43.73 to take first place.
Booker wasted little time writing her name in the record book again as she set a new school record in the 200 meters shortly thereafter. The freshman posted a time of 23.70 to eclipse the mark set last week by Sonnisha Williams of 23.79 in the event. Booker finished fourth overall with the new school and freshman record to her credit. Lynne Layne (23.79, 5th), Sheila Paul (23.92, 7th) and Amanda Leland (25.60, 34th) rounded out the Knights running in the 200.
Scott also made her mark on the record books Saturday as she set a new UCF freshmen record in the 400 meters. Scott ran a personal-best 53.96 to finish fourth overall. Champelle Brown was fifth in 54.26, while the previous freshmen record holder Afia Charles was 11th in 55.40, besting her old PR of 55.86 set last week. Dan’Elle Bellamy ran a personal-best 57.23 and Eva Pierce was 28th in 1:01.25.
Layne was the top runner in the 100 meters as she crossed in 11.73 to claim first place. Williams set a new personal-best time in the event with a 12.05 to finish 13th. Tomika Story (12.34, 28th), Leland (12.34, 29th) and Jacquelyn Gilchrist (12.58, 34th) all posted PRs for the Knights in the 100 meters Saturday at the annual meet.
The only Knight competing in the triple jump, Story made her mark on the rest of the competition as she claimed first place with a distance of 40-4.00/12.39m.
Indoor All-American Jackie Coward made her outdoor debut Saturday afternoon. In the 100-meter hurdles, she was the top collegiate finisher and second overall in 13.28. Teammate Karessa Farley was not too far back, finishing third in 13.68. Sandy Jean (14.87, 23rd) and Ashley Bolling (15.07, 24th) were the other two members of UCF entered into the event.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Coward again finished second in 59.89. Sandy Jean was fourth as she set a new PR in the event, crossing in 1:01.19. Aisha-Maree Frazier was 15th in 1:04.57.
A day after breaking the program record in the long jump, Williams finished tied for third in the high jump. The sophomore cleared a height of 5-4.25/1.63 Saturday afternoon.
The 1,500-meters saw Danielle Scaffidi finish 24th in 4:56.55, while Katya Groff posted a personal-best 4:58.43 to finish 25th overall.
The Knights’ 4×400-meter relay teams ran the final event of the day. The UCF `A’ team finished third in 3:41.87 made up of Brown, Charles, Layne and Jean. The quartet of Bellamy, Ne’Ausha Logan, Frazier and Carley Dart comprised the UCF `B’ team, which placed seventh in 3:48.07.
Dart and Logan joined Erica Winston in the 800 meters earlier in the afternoon. Winston finished fourth in 2:12.50 to pace the Knights, while Dart was eighth in 2:14.06 and Logan was 13th in 2:26.62. Mason Gardberg was the lone UCF athlete in the 5,000 meters, finishing seventh in 20:44.71.
Freshman throwers Satrina Oliveira and Destinee Romain continue to develop as they adapt to the collegiate level. Romain was eighth (43-3.75/13.20m) in the shot put, while Oliveira’s throw of 42-6.25/12.96m was more than two feet better than her previous best mark and earned her a ninth-place finish.
In the discus, Oliveira was 14th with a throw of 129-08/39.53 and Romain was 17th with a mark of 108-03/33.00m
“I’m really excited about what we did today in the shot put,” assistant coach Jeff Chakouian said. “We executed in the meet what we have been doing in practice, which is going to help us build on their throws. The athletes are working extremely hard in the weight room and on getting to that level of consistency which will help us in upcoming meets.”
The UCF Invitational featured both the men’s and women’s teams from Florida, Miami, FAU, FIU, Tennessee and Rhode Island among others in a non-scoring format.
The Knights will return to action next weekend as they head to Gainesville for the Pepsi Florida Relays. The event gets underway Friday and continues through Saturday.