Williams Captures Long Jump Crown at C-USA Indoor Championships

GO KNIGHTS Precious Ogunleye came in fourth place in the weight throw with a personal best mark of 17.92m to break the school freshman record.
Precious Ogunleye came in fourth place in the weight throw with a personal best mark of 17.92m to break the school freshman record.

Feb. 25, 2012

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By Jenna Marina

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 15 UCF track and field team produced a long jump champion, set 11 personal records and saw a school freshman record fall at the Conference USA Indoor Championships on Saturday. The Knights wrapped up day one in second place with a total of 28.50 points - 14.50 points behind leader East Carolina.

"We had a really good day and we had several personal records, which shows that we're ready to run fast when we need to and perform well under pressure," Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. "We put ourselves in a great position, and we will have quite few opportunities in the finals. It's going to be a tight, tight meet tomorrow and the outcome is going to depend on the team who wants it the most."

As reigning C-USA outdoor champion, junior Sonnisha Williams claimed her first indoor long jump crown with a leap of 6.32m/20-09.00 for her best performance of the season and her indoor personal best. Senior Jacquelyn Gilchrist also found her way onto the podium, taking third place with a personal-best mark of 6.05m/19-10.25 for all-conference distinction.

Sophomore Jen Clayton also scored points in the event with a sixth-place finish of 5.88m/19-03.50, and senior Tomika Story bettered her personal record with a leap of 5.75m/18-10.50 for ninth place.

"Coach (Paul) Brown did an excellent job with the long jump crew," Smith Gilbert said. "Sonnisha did a great job, and they gave us 19 points, which we needed from them."

Senior Jackie Coward tied the C-USA Indoor Championship Meet record with the fastest-qualifying time of 8.15, just .05 shy of an NCAA Championships automatic-qualifying time. Senior Ashley Bolling also qualified for the finals with a personal-best 8.44.

Precious Ogunleye reset the UCF freshman record and her personal best in the weight throw for the third time this season with a fourth-place mark of 17.92m/58-9.50.

"Precious broke her freshman record by more than five feet - that is a great accomplishment," Smith Gilbert said. "She came into the event ranked ninth and finished in fourth, so I'm very proud of her."

Freshman Octavious Freeman paced four Knights who qualified for the 60-meter finals with the fastest-qualifying time of 7.23. Sophomore Dominique Booker clocked 7.43 for the fourth-fastest time, junior Amanda Leland ran a personal-best 7.47 for the sixth-fastest time and freshman Christal Peterson nearly matched her personal record with a time of 7.48.

Freeman also paced three sprinters who qualified for the 200-meter finals with the fastest-qualifying time of 23.58, just .02 off her personal best and C-USA leading time. Dominique Booker topped her season best with the fifth-fastest qualifying time of 24.05. Senior Sheila Paul rounded out the trio with a time of 24.16 for the seventh-fastest time.

Even though she did not advance to the finals, Williams clocked a personal-best 24.36 in her first 200-meter race of the year while Leland also ran a personal record 24.64.

Junior Erica Weiss scored points in the pole vault by tying for fifth place with a mark of 3.66m/12-00. In its first appearance of the season, the distance medley relay team of Shelby Blaes, Ne'Ausha Logan, Amelia Williams and Cody Castillo also scored a point in eighth place with a time of 12:18.24.

Logan and Erica Winston both qualified for the 800-meter finals with solid performances. Logan topped her personal best, which she clocked at last year's C-USA Championships, with the fourth-fastest qualifying time of 2:11.70 for the fastest time by a Knight in the event this year. Winston fell in right behind her at 2:13.68 for her indoor personal best.

"Ne'Ausha and Erica ran very well in the 800, which is going to be a crucial event tomorrow," Smith Gilbert said. "I'm very proud of their effort today."

Sophomore Afia Charles topped her indoor personal best in the 400 meters with the second-fastest qualifying time of 55.00.

The Knights will resume action on Sunday at noon with the shot put. Live stats are available via UCFAthletics.com.



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