May 7, 2008
Editor's Note: This is the second in a four-part daily series previewing the 2008 UCF track and field squad leading up to the 2008 UCF Invitational to be contested on Saturday, May 10, at the UCF Track and Field Complex.
By: Sean Cartell, UCF Athletics Communications
ORLANDO, Fla.(www.ucfathletics.com) - When first-year head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert took over the UCF track and field program with the goal of elevating the Knights to among the national elite, she quickly jumped at acheiving that goal.
Under Smith-Gilbert's direction, the UCF jumps corps has been one of the successful driving forces in leading the Knights' program to notariety. In fact, Smith Gilbert mentored freshman Lizzie Harris (Miami, Fla.) to become the first athlete in school history to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a mark of 5-10.75/1.80m in the high jump. Harris finished tied for ninth in the event at nationals and became the school's first-ever NCAA Indoor All-American. She holds UCF's indoor school record in the high jump and also school records in the indoor 200 and 400-meter dashes.
Junior Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.), who also has experienced success this season in the sprint and relay events, holds UCF's outdoor school record in the triple jump with a mark of 42-4.25/12.91m. She has qualified for the NCAA East Regional in both the triple jump and the long jump. Regionals take place May 30-31 in Tallahassee, Fla. Thomas also recorded UCF's top indoor marks in the long jump and triple jump.
Freshman Micaela Wimberly (Miami, Fla.) also has participated in several jumps events this season to add depth to the event area.
UCF plays home to its lone home event of the season on Saturday - the UCF Invitational at the UCF Track and Field Complex. Complete results will be available at www.ucfathletics.com.