Jan. 15, 2011
UCF Times/Marks in PDF Format
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By Pat Salvas
LEXINGTON, Ky. (UCFAthletics.com) - A day after opening the season with just two field events, the UCF track & field team really got its 2011 indoor season underway Saturday at the Kentucky Invitational. Freshmen Dominique Booker (East Orange, N.J.) and Aurieyall Scott (Savannah, Ga.) each set new school records in their first collegiate meet to help the Knights to an impressive start to the season.
Booker started by breaking the school record in the preliminaries of the 60 meters with a time of 7.32. She bested her own mark in the finals by three-hundredths of a second in 7.29 to claim the first place. Senior Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) was third (7.49) in the finals with previous record holder Sheila Paul (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.) taking fifth (7.53).
In the 200 meters, Scott set another UCF indoor mark in 23.35. Scott's time was nearly seven-tenths of a second faster than the previous mark set by Brittany Long two seasons ago. The new school and freshmen record was also the top time in the event by any runner at Nutter Fieldhouse on Saturday.
"This was a very good opening weekend for us," head coach Carly Smith Gilbert said. "We had some strong performances by our younger athletes in their first real test at the collegiate level."
Scott was part of setting another school record Saturday in Lexington, helping break the 4x400-meter relay mark by more than six seconds. Senior Champelle Brown (Oakland, Calif.), junior Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) and freshmen Afia Charles (Greenbelt, Md.) and Scott combined to finish in 3:40.15.
That time was good for second place and smashed the previous UCF best time in the event of 3:46.28 set in January of 2009.
Charles was also the Knights' top runner in the 400 meters, finishing sixth in 56.24.
"I was very excited about the team chemistry that I saw today," Smith Gilbert added. "All the work and bonding the team did together this fall is going to be very beneficial and I think that we saw that today."
Coward led a large UCF contingent in the 60-meter hurdles. After qualifying in 8.23, Coward would finish second in the finals in 8.20, just one-hundredth of a second off a personal-best time.
Karessa Farley (Bridgetown, Barbados) was fourth in the 60-meter hurdles (8.44), while fellow senior Micaela Wimberly (Miami, Fla.) was sixth (8.49) in the finals. All three UCF runners that qualified for the finals ran faster times than in their preliminary heats.
"We still have work to do to get better this season," Smith Gilbert added. "I look forward to that challenge of getting better every week with continued hard work, but today was a good start."
The Knights will run again next weekend in Blacksburg, Va., at the Hokie Invitational. The two-day event hosted by Virginia Tech is set to begin Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday.