UCF Track & Field Begins Quest for American Indoor Championship Friday



Feb. 26, 2014

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By: Brittany Ventriglio
Edited by:Nate Blythe

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+ Live Video: Day One
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF track and field team travels to the Armory in New York for the 2014 American Athletic Conference Championships on Friday. After setting eight top indoor marks at the Tyson Invitational, the team is ready to push their limits once again.

This is the first year of The American after UCF moved into the new league in August. The Knights come into the event as the defending Conference USA Indoor Champions.

Sprinters sophomores Briana Vaughn, Christal Peterson and freshman J'Nea Bellamy hold performances that are among the conference's top five in the 60 meters and have marks that rank among the 200 meters top 10. All three will be competing in the 60M preliminary race on Friday. The final is set for Saturday.

Senior Afia Charles, who won the gold in the 2012 C-USA Indoor Championships and silver a year later in the 400M, will be joining juniors Sandy Jean and Kirsten Nieuwendam in the event. Charles set a school record for the 400M last year and currently heads into the weekend ranking third among the conference's top performers. The preliminary race is Friday, while the final is set for Saturday.

Senior Erica Winston is coming off a school-record performance in the 800M. The Long Beach, Calif., native ranks in the top-five this season in the conference along with Ne'Ausha Logan. Logan and Winston will be racing with sophomore Caroline Pauls on Friday in the 800M preliminary race.

The distance events are led by sophomore Heather Classe, who posted a top indoor time of 17:50 at the Husker Invitational. Junior Amelia Williams is coming off a personal record of 5:04.61 in the mile at the Tyson Invitational.

Senior Destinee Romain ranks third in the weight throw among conference marks. The Miami, Fla., native rewrote the school record twice this season and will look to improve upon her personal record once more alongside sophomore Kalen Hambrick.

An All-American long jumper, senior Jen Clayton, will be making her season debut. In addition to her signature event, the Nyak, N.Y., will also be competing in the triple jump.

Twitter updates throughout the championship can be found via @American_Champs. The tournament central page has results during the two-day meet. Live video can be found for both days of competition through the American Digital Network.

A list of the events that the Knights are scheduled to participate in can be found below.

60 meters:
J'Nea Bellamy
Briana Vaughn
Christal Peterson

200 meters:
J'Nea Bellamy
Afia Charles
Christal Peterson
Briana Vaughn

400 meters:
Afia Charles
Sandy Jean
Kirsten Nieuwendam

800 meters:
Ne'Ausha Logan
Caroline Pauls
Erica Winston

Amelia Williams

5,000 meters:
Heather Classe
Holly Wooley

60 Hurdles:
Lia King

High Jump:
Allison Lampert

Pole Vault:
Paige Byrnes

Long Jump:
Jen Clayton

Triple Jump:
Lia King
Jen Clayton

Shot Put:
Destinee Romain

Weight Throw:
Kalen Hambrick
Destinee Romain

Ashley Jocelyn and Alyssa Hamel will also be traveling as a part of the distance medley relay squad.



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