May 9, 2006
ORLANDO - The UCF women's track and field team hopes to better its showing from the indoor meet in February when it competes against Conference USA's best at the 2006 C-USA Outdoor Championship. Competition, which is hosted by UTEP in El Paso, Texas, begins Thursday and concludes Saturday.
UCF finished seventh in the C-USA Indoor Championship, which took place in Houston, Texas in late February. Two Golden Knights - seniors Tiffany Roebuck and Diana Chin - earned all-conference honors with top three finishes in the weight throw and the long jump, respectively, while the team finished in the top five in four other events.
Teams challenging for the title include indoor champion Houston and runner-up Rice as well as strong contenders from Southern Miss and UTEP. The Golden Knights have the potential to better their showing as they are ranked among the league's top ten in over 15 events.
Roebuck enters this weekend's championship ranked in the top ten in three throwing events. In March, she shattered her own school record and qualified for her third consecutive NCAA Regional with a toss of 192-feet, three inches - a mark that still ranks second in C-USA. She is also sixth in the shot put at 45-6 and 10th in the discus at 138-8. Sophomore Virginia Traynor sits behind Roebuck at seventh in the shot put with a personal best of 43-5.25.
The UCF recordholder in both the 100m hurdles and the long jump, Chin, vies for the title in both events. She is ranked third among C-USA athletes in long jump after surpassing the NCAA Regional standard at 19-8.25 at the Bulldog Limited, while she is fourth in the 100m hurdles at 14.11. Joining Chin in the long jump, where she is tied for fifth overall at 19-6.25, is freshman Dione Thomas. She is also set to compete in the triple jump.
Junior Katie Fowke and senior Tracy Fischler lead UCF in the pole vault, arguably one of the team's deepest events. Earlier this season at the Bulldog Limited, Fowke broke her own school record with a mark of 12-5.50, which not only qualified her for a third consecutive NCAA Regional but also ranks as the second-best effort in the league this spring. Fischler, meanwhile, vaulted into school history at the Golden Knight Twilight in April when she tied sophomore Michelle Teuton for second place all-time with a mark of 11-5.75. Also competing in the event are Teuton, who took fifth at the league indoor championship, fellow sophomore Kelsey Bealert and freshman Brittney McDermott.
The Golden Knights also line up a strong field in the 400m hurdles, which includes sophomore and NCAA Regional qualifier Victoria Chin. The younger Chin enters the championship ranked second with a time of 1:00.80 and was sixth in the 60m hurdles at the indoor meet. Also running in the event are senior Kylene Colasanti and freshmen Michelle Ranc and Natalie Braddock.
UCF is strong elsewhere on the track as well. Freshman Shantile Blackburn and junior Karen Kozub were finalists in the 800m at the indoor championship and return to go head-to-head in the middle distance events once again. The Golden Knights are also contenders in the 3,000m steeplechase, where senior and school recordholder Andrea Morrow is still focusing on qualifying for her third NCAA Regional. She is currently ranked fifth in C-USA with a season-best time of 11:05.84.
Competition begins on Thursday with the heptathlon. Freshman Sheree Carter, who finished fifth in the indoor pentathlon during the indoor championship, is listed at fourth in C-USA after collecting 4,241 points in the multi-events at the Bulldog Limited.