NEW ORLEANS, La. (UCFAthletics.com) - Three Knights emerged as All-Conference USA honorees in the No. 18 UCF track and field's first full day of action at the Conference USA Championships on Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium. Freshman Precious Ogunleye earned the first all-conference award of her career in the shot put while junior Sonnisha Williams and senior Jacquelyn Gilchrist both medaled in the long jump after reaching the podium in the event in the indoor season.
Ogunleye took third place in the shot with a toss of 14.72m/48-03.50. Williams hit a personal best twice in the long jump en route to second place and a new school record with a mark of 6.59m/21-07.50 (+0.7), and Gilchrist earned third place with a leap of 6.12m/20-01.00.
Nine Knights qualified for 14 entries in Sunday's finals as UCF heads into the last day of competition tied for fourth place with 26 points along with Rice and trailing leader Southern Miss by 10 points.
Seniors Jackie Coward and Karessa Farley both qualified for the 100 hurdles finals as the top two finishers in their heat. Coward recorded the fastest-qualifying time overall with a wind-aided performance of 13.14 (+2.1) -- another mark that once again ranks among the NCAA's top 15 times this season. She will aim to capture her third outdoor championship crown in the event Sunday. Farley finished with a season-best wind-aided time of 13.44 (+2.1) for the fourth-fastest qualifying time overall.
Coward also advanced for the 400 hurdles by easily taking the second heat with a time of 1:00.04. Senior Aisha-Maree Frazier will join Coward in the finals as her season-best time of 1:01.51 ranked third in her heat and seventh overall.
Sophomore Afia Charles, who earned gold in the indoor season, commanded the lead in the 400 meters early and cruised to a time of 54.30 to automatically qualify for the finals.
Four Knights clinched their spot in the finals of the 100 meters. In her first 100M race of the year, returning champion Aurieyall Scott dashed to the fastest-qualifying time of 11.51 (-0.5). Freshman Octavious Freeman crossed the finish line in step behind her at 11:58 (-0.5). Sophomore Dominique Booker automatically qualified by winning her heat with a time of 11.75 (-0.5), and Sheila Paul posted a season-best time of 11.61 (-0.5).
The quartet was equally as impressive in the 200 meters by all qualifying for the finals, and Scott, Paul and Freeman all won their heats. Scott led the way with the fastest-qualifying time of the day at 23.38 (+0.4), Paul clocked a season-best 23.59 (-0.1), Freeman came in at 23.69 (+0.3) and Booker recorded a season-best 23.84 (+0.3).
The middle-distance runners hit their stride with several personal-best performances.
Ne'Ausha Logan shaved more than two seconds off her personal best with a season-best time of 2:09.08 for the fastest-qualifying time and automatically advanced for the 800-meter finals.
Freshman Cody Castillo set the tone in the Knights' first event of the day by clocking a personal best 4:43.52 in the 1500 meters prelims for ninth in her heat and 14th overall. Freshman Teresa Huff also turned in a personal-best 11:46.38 in the Steeplechase for ninth place.
The Knights resume the Championships on Sunday at 4 p.m. with the triple jump. Fox Sports Network is set to televise Sunday's final events on tape delay. As always, live results are available.