The last event of the day proved to be the biggest for the UCF indoor track & field team Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational. The Knights’ 4×400-meter relay team set a new school record and automatically qualified for the NCAA Nationals next weekend at Texas A&M with a 3:34.00 in the event.
The NCAA’s automatic qualifying time in the 4×400-meter relay this season is 3:34.00, a mark which UCF just reached on Saturday to finish first in their Last Chance Meet leading up to next weekend. The time in the event was also a program record, eclipsing the previous mark set two weeks ago at the Tyson Invitational by more than two seconds. That previous record was 3:36.03.
Saturday’s relay team was comprised of Afia Charles, Champelle Brown, Sandy Jean and Aurieyall Scott.
Last weekend, UCF’s 4×400-meter relay team placed first at the Conference USA Championships to help the Knights claim their first indoor league title. Saturday’s time is good for the fifth-fastest in the nation this season.
“The team ran really well,” head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. “It’s always great to see records broken. This particular race came just in time for the NCAA Championship and puts us in great position to score points. We will definitely be well represented next weekend.”
The 60-meter hurdles saw two Knights run on Saturday. Karessa Farley ran a season-best 8.23 in the preliminaries to win her heat. Mica Wimberly finished second in her heat and qualified for the finals in a personal-best time of 8.33. Farley finished second in the finals in 8.25, while Wimberly matched her preliminary performance with an 8.33 in the finals to finish fourth.
UCF had two runners in the 60 meters as Lynne Layne and Sheila Paul both won their heats in the preliminaries. Layne was second overall with a 7.49 finish, while Paul was third in 7.50. In the finals, Lynne ran a 7.38 to finish third and Paul was fourth in 7.47.
Paul also ran in the 200 meters, finishing third in 23.77 as the Knights’ only representative in the event.
The 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships will take place Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 in College Station, Texas, as the Aggies of Texas A&M will host the meet.