May 27, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After a second-place finish in the Conference USA Championships, the UCF track and Field team sends a program-best nine athletes to Greensboro, N.C., this weekend for the NCAA East Regionals. The two-day event hosted by North Carolina A&T gets underway on Friday at Irwin Belk Track.
With numerous athletes competing in multiple events, the Knights will have 15 entries in the regional meet. The East Regional is one of four taking place this weekend across the country. The top five finishers from each event in each regional automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships on June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Below is a preview of the field events that UCF will have athletes competing. Please look for a preview of the running events on UCFAthletics.com Thursday.
High Jump - Saturday, 5 p.m.
After claiming the individual event title in the event at the C-USA Championships, sophomore Lizzie Harris (Miami, Fla.) is a strong contender to advance to nationals in the high jump. Harris claimed the C-USA title with a top mark of 5-11.25/1.81m, a jump that tied the UCF school record. The sophomore's mark is tied for the 13th best nationally this season.
Long Jump - Friday, 1 p.m.
Senior Dione Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) will compete in the first of her two regional events with the long jump on Friday. Thomas had the best jump of her career at the C-USA Championships to claim fourth place. Her mark of 20-7.25/6.28m would have been a school record and ranked just outside the top 20 nationwide this season if not for a wind reading of 5.5 meters per second.
Triple Jump - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Discus - Friday, 5 p.m.
Thomas will begin her quest to become an NCAA All-American in both the indoor and outdoor triple jump on Saturday. The senior will look to advance out of regionals with a strong performance on Saturday in the event. Her top mark of the season of 42-6.75/12.97m was set in a third-place effort at the C-USA Championships and ranks her 18th nationally in 2009.
A pair of UCF throwers will compete in both the discus and the shot put, beginning Friday evening with the discus. Junior transfer Kelsey Poljansek
(Milton, Kan.) shattered the school record in the event in her first season with the Knights with a top throw of 170-2/51.86m at the Iron Discus Classic on April 23. The toss ranks Poljansek just outside of the top-20 nationally in 2009.
She will be joined in the event by fellow junior LaKendra Thames (Winter Garden, Fla.), who has come on strong late in the season. Thames qualified for regionals at the C-USA meet with a top throw of 157-4/47.95m.
Shot Put - Saturday, 3 p.m.
Both Poljansek and Thames will be back in action Saturday for the shot put. The two juniors have traded the title of school record holder in the event this season, with Thames currently laying claim to it after a third-place finish and a top mark of 49-6.50/15.10m at the C-USA Championships. Poljansek had a season-best toss of 49-3.75/15.03m at the Florida Relays on April 4.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.