Jan. 10, 2012
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By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's track and field team is ranked No. 6 for the 2012 indoor season, the USTFCCCA announced on Tuesday in its preseason poll. In addition to garnering its first preseason nod in school history, UCF received the highest ranking among programs in the state of Florida.
Southern Miss (No. 13) joins UCF as the only other Conference USA team to be recognized among the top-25 programs in the country.
The Knights witnessed three student-athletes garner All-America honors at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships to help the Knights finish 21st. Sophomore Aurieyall Scott, a two-time indoor All American in the 60-meter and 200-meter races, returns with the fastest 60m time in the country (7.19). She also claims the fifth fastest 200-meter time in the nation with her personal best 23.16.
Jackie Coward medaled in the 60-meter hurdles with a third-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships. She heads into her final season with the fourth-fastest 60-meter hurdle time (8.06) in the country.
Sonnisha Williams also claimed All-America honors in the long jump last season, and her personal best of 20-9 ranks sixth in the nation. All three returnees will be joined by SEC Indoor Champion long jumper Jen Clayton, who transferred to UCF from LSU over the summer.
The Knights also return sophomore C-USA champion Dominique Booker, who owns the fifth fastest 60-meter time (7.24) and eighth fastest 200-meter time (23.26) in the country.
UCF begins its most anticipated season in school history this weekend when the Knights travel to Blacksburg, Va., for its indoor season opener at the Virginia Tech Invitational. UCF returns 10 All-Conference USA performers from a season ago, eight of whom are C-USA champions.
In December, the Knights were recognized for signing a top-10 recruiting class by Track and Field News. Of UCF's 11 freshmen, 10 have experience as state qualifiers, including USA Today's All-USA Track and field Sprints Team member Octavious Freeman.
Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert heads into her fifth season at the helm of the program as the returning USTFCCCA South Region Coach of the Year.