Freshman Octavious Freeman earned herself a spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials in both the 100 and 200 Meters thanks to her buzzworthy performances at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville on Friday.
In her first 100M race as a Knight, Freeman was not daunted as the only collegian in her heat, blowing by her professional competitors with a new world-leading time of 11.10 (+1.2). Her personal-best performance shattered the Florida Relays, UCF and freshman records and automatically qualifies her for a spot to compete alongside teammate Aurieyall Scott in the event at the Trials this summer.
She struck again in the 200 Meters, this time clocking a personal-best 22.80 (+0.5) for the world’s second-fastest time and the top time in the U.S. Her first-place finish is a new school and freshman record.
Freshman Christal Peterson dashed to a season-best time of 11.70 (+0.2) for 16th place overall in the 100 Meters, and junior Amanda Leland fell in step behind her in 17th place with the second-fastest time in her heat of 11.72 (+3.4).
Senior Jackie Coward finished fourth with a time of 13.37 (-0.5) in the 100 Hurdles, narrowly missing the podium by .01 behind third-place finisher Nike’s Loreal Smith. Coward’s performance ranks among the top 20 in the nation at time of publication. Senior Karessa Farley made her return to the track for her first race of 2012 and finished 16th with a time of 13.91 (-1.0).
In her first 400 Hurdles appearance of 2012, Coward led her heat and finished 12th overall with a time of 59.01.
UCF’s jumps crew witnessed the return of two of their top performers in the long jump, and the duo did not disappoint. In her first appearance in the event since claiming All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships, junior Sonnisha Williams earned a silver-medal finish in the invite section of the Long Jump with a respectable first attempt of 6.34m/20-9.50. The mark ranks among the nation’s top 10 in the NCAA.
Sophomore Jen Clayton also announced her long-awaited return to the long jump with authority, busting out of the gate with a mark of 6.14m/20-01.75. She took bronze in the university section of the event, followed closely by senior Jacquelyn Gilchrist’s fourth-place showing of 6.07m/19-11.00.
Freshman Precious Ogunleye bettered her personal record by more than a foot in the discus with a toss of 43.82m/143-09 for ninth place. Sophomore Satrina Oliveira paced the Knights in the event with a mark of 44.75m/146-10 for fifth place.
Freshman Shelby Blaes topped her personal record by more almost a minute in the 5000 Meters with a time of 18:15.10. Meanwhile, Erica Winston ran a season-best 2:13.00 in the 800 Meters for the third-fastest time in her heat and 22nd place overall.
The No. 13 UCF track and field team will resume action at the Relays on Saturday with the hammer throw starting things off at 11:30 a.m.