Coming off its third-straight Conference USA Outdoor Championship, the No. 14 UCF track and field team will send a school-record 14 student-athletes to the 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Knights topped last year’s record number of 12 competitors as UCF will be represented in 11 different events at Hodges Stadium on the University of North Florida’s campus this year.
The Knights claim 12 marks that rank among the region’s top 25. Freshman Octavious Freeman, sophomore Aurieyall Scott and senior Sheila Paul hold six of UCF’s region-best seven entries in the 100 and 200 meters and will be joined by sophomore Dominique Booker in the 200.
Freeman won gold in the 100 meters and bronze in the 200 meters at the Conference USA Championships as she heads into the preliminaries with the third-best time in both events. Scott also ranks among the region’s top 10 in both events after emerging as league champion in the 200 and runner-up in the 100. Paul took silver in the 200 to help UCF earn a clean sweep of the podium in the event at the championships.
Sophomore Afia Charles earned her spot for the second-consecutive year in the 400 meters. Freshman Ne’Ausha Logan secured her first appearance at the preliminaries with her personal-best and gold-medalist performance in the 800 meters at the Conference USA Championships.
All-conference selections Jackie Coward and Karessa Farley will represent the Black and Gold in the 100 hurdles while Aisha-Maree Frazier returns to the preliminaries in the 400 hurdles after missing last year’s competition. All three hurdlers earned all-conference distinction a week ago.
Junior Sonnisha Williams will lead UCF’s four entries in the long jump as she currently ranks third in the region in the event. She will be accompanied by all-conference honoree Jacquelyn Gilchrist, Tomika Story and Jen Clayton. Gilchrist and Story will also perform in the triple jump.
Freshman Precious Ogunleye becomes UCF’s first freshman since 2007 to represent the Knights in the throws by earning her spot in both the shot put and discus.
The top 24 finishers in each event will move on to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 6-9. For more information about the East Preliminaries, visit the meet central page via www.unfospreys.com.