UCF's Coward, Booker Produce Times Among Nation's Best

GO KNIGHTS Amanda Leland recorded two personal bests on Saturday at the Rod McCravy Memorial.
Amanda Leland recorded two personal bests on Saturday at the Rod McCravy Memorial.

Jan. 28, 2012

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By Jenna Marina

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 6 UCF track and field team shows no signs of slowing down as the Knights produced a number of personal bests at the Rod McCravy Memorial on Saturday at Kentucky's Nutter Field House.

Sophomore Dominique Bookerannounced her arrival to the 2012 season brilliantly, claiming first place in the 60 Meters with a time of 7.35, which ranks among the top 10 in the nation.

"The sprinters and hurdlers have been working very hard in practice to make minor corrections that could help them improve, and I was happy to see they stuck to their race plans and got the job done," Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbertsaid. "Dominique opened up in fine fashion even though she has been slightly hampered with some nagging injuries this season."

Tyler Smith ran a season-best 7.59 for sixth place in the 60 Meters and Amanda Leland followed right behind in seventh place with a personal best 7.60. Leland also recorded a personal best in the 200 Meters with a time of 25.14 to pace the Knights in the race. Eva Pierceclocked a personal best in the 200 Meters with a time of 26.49.

Two Knights earned top-five finishes in the 60 Hurdles. Jackie Cowardmedaled in second place with a season-best time of 8.17, which was .07 shy of the NCAA Championships automatic qualifying mark.

Ashley Bollingtopped her personal best in the 60 Hurdles preliminaries with a time of 8.47 before taking fourth place in the finals with a time of 8.49.

The 4x400 Relay team (Afia Charles, Coward, Sonnisha Williams, Erica Winston) medaled in third place with a time of 3:41.68 for the Knights' best showing in the event this season.

Ne'Ausha Logan narrowly missed her personal best in the 800 Meters with a time of 2:16.42, which ranks second among all of UCF's performances in the event this year. Destinee Romainrounded out the field events by throwing a season-best 12.69m (41-07.75) in the shot put.

The distance runners produced personal bests in their respective events, as well. Freshman Cody Castillo solely represented the Knights in the mile and ran 5:22.61 while freshman Teresa Huffrecorded a time of 10:56.88 in the 3000 Meters.

"Our performances at this meet showed that we are still marching forward in our quest to have a great indoor season," Smith Gilbert said. "I was very impressed with the way our team executed under pressure. It was good to see our distance runners compete with intensity because they are an important part of our team."

Up next, UCF will travel to New York City on Feb. 3-4 for the New Balance Invitational.



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