Feb. 3, 2012
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By Jenna Marina
NEW YORK, N.Y. (UCFAthletics.com) -- Another member of the No. 5 UCF track and field team automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday in day one of the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory in New York.
Senior Jackie Coward clinched her spot in the 60 hurdles with a first-place time of 8.09 in the consolation championship round of the event. She nearly topped her personal best and school record of 8.06, which she clocked at the NCAA Championships last season. She will join freshman Octavious Freeman (60 meters) at nationals in Boise, Idaho, in March.
UCF advanced more competitors than any other school to the 60-meter finals. Freeman led four Knights in the event by medaling in the championship finals with a third-place time of 7.26. Sophomore Aurieyall Scott finished a step behind with a season-best time of 7.27, which fell .04 short of automatically qualifying for the NCAA championships.
After clocking the sixth-fastest qualifying time of 7.36 in the preliminaries, sophomore Dominique Booker rounded out the championship finals with an eighth-place time of 7.40. Freshman Christal Peterson competed in the consolation finals and also finished in eighth place with a time of 7.51.
Sophomore Afia Charles recorded a new personal best 55.08 in the 400-meter preliminaries. Senior Ashley Bolling fell .01 shy of her personal best in the 60 Hurdles with a time of 8.48 in the preliminaries.
Junior Sonnisha Williams led the Knights in the long jump with the second-best performance of her indoor career, leaping 6.11m/20-00.50 for seventh place. Senior Jacquelyn Gilchrist topped her personal best by more than four inches with a mark of 5.96m/19-6.75.
UCF will return to the Armory on Saturday for day two of the New Balance Invitational.