Feb. 10, 2012
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By Jenna Marina
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 5 UCF track and field team produced some of its best performances of the season, including a school-and-freshman-record tying mark, on Friday night as the team split between the Tyson Invitational at Arkansas and the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C.
After clocking the fastest preliminaries time, freshman Octavious Freeman topped her personal best, automatic qualifying time in the semifinals by recording 7.19 to tie the school and freshman record. At the time of publication, it ranked as the nation's top time this season.
Sophomore Aurieyall Scott also advanced to the 60-meter finals with the third-fastest qualifying time of 7.30. Due to a heavy schedule for Scott on Saturday, UCF head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert decided not to run her in the finals. Freeman held on to the top spot in the finals, claiming her second first-place finish of the season with a time of 7.20.
In the 60 hurdles, Jackie Coward was unable to finish after hitting the second hurdle with her trail leg, which left her unable to recover. Senior Ashley Bolling, UCF's only other hurdler in the event, false started.
The jumps crew was led by senior Jacquelyn Gilchrist, who posted a personal record 6.02m/19-9 to medal in the long jump with a third-place finish.
Junior Sonnisha Williams nearly topped her indoor personal best in the high jump with a season-best leap of 1.68m/5-6 for third place.
At the Tiger Paw Invitational at Clemson, junior Amanda Leland set a new personal best in the 60 meter with a third-place time of 7.52. Sophomore Tyler Smith matched her season-best 7.59 for sixth place.
Sophomore Destinee Romain topped her personal best in the weight throw by nearly two feet, tossing a sixth-place mark of 16.943m/55-6.50.
"Today was a really good day. All the athletes have been very focused this trip and you can see that they are starting to make the little differences that will pay off," UCF assistant coach Jeff Chakouian said. "From the get go, Amanda felt very confident, and it was great to see her come through and run well. Overall, I think everyone had good efforts today, and I think there is still a lot more in the tank that we need to get out as the championship season approaches."
UCF will return to action on Saturday with the Knights' first events - the triple jump at the Tyson Invitational and the pole vault at the Tiger Paw Invitational - at 11 a.m.