Competition Drives the UCF Track & Field Throwers



May 29, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

NCAA East Preliminary
Jacksonville, Fla. - Hodges Stadium

Thursday, May 29

Friday, May 30

  • 6:15 p.m. - 400 Meters Quarterfinals%
  • 6:45 p.m. - 100 Meters Quarterfinals%
  • 7:15 p.m. - 800 Meters Quarterfinals%
  • 7:45 p.m. - 400 Hurdles Quarterfinals%
  • 8:25 p.m. - 200 Meters First Round#

Saturday, May 31

  • 6:15 p.m. - 4x100M Relay Quarterfinals%
  • 7:50 p.m. - 200 Meters Quarterfinals%
  • 8:45 p.m. - 5000 Meters Semifinals%
  • 9:45 p.m. - 4x400M Relay Quarterfinals%
# - Top 24 advance to NCAA East Prelim Quarterfinals
% - Top 12 advance to NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Jun. 11-14

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - UCF track and field senior Destinee Romain and sophomore Kalen Hambrick represented the Knights in the hammer throw on Thursday afternoon at the NCAA East Preliminary. The two throwers pushed each other and provided support and encouragement throughout the season.

"This is my all-out meet," said Hambrick before competing. "I am going to leave and say that I could not do any better. The fact that I know I gave it my all will help me in making improvements going to next year."

Hambrick and Romain finished off the campaign with tosses of 53.52m/175-07 by Hambrick and 50.61m/166-00 by Romain. Both marks occurred in the first flight of the regional competition on their second attempt.

Romain, one of the leaders of the Knights, completed a four-year career with a personal best of 55.45m/181-11 recorded at the UNF Invite on April 26. She also participated in the shot put during her stay at UCF.

"Being a leader is a hard job because sometimes, it is hard to do the right thing all the time," said Romain. "The past four years have taught me that a leader steps up and makes sure everyone falls in line and does what is best for the team."

The Miami native has been one of the vocal leaders on the team and been at the side of Hambrick at practices and meets.

"Kalen is a strong competitor, but we have really helped push each other to the best of our abilities," said Romain. "She really pushed me the entire outdoor season by topping me in every hammer throw competition up until The American Championship, so it made me work harder (Romain earned the bronze at AAC Championship). Next year, if she continues the same hard work and determination, then she will be a great asset to the throws and team."

The best mark in Hambrick's career of 56.36m/18-11 came at the UCF Invitational on March 28.

"The last half of the indoor season was a little rough for me," said Hambrick. "I told myself as soon as outdoor started that I wasn't going to hold back and put faith in my ability."

She took first place in the three outdoor meets that began the campaign and placed fourth at The American Championship with a toss of 55.29m/181-05 to earn fourth.

Motivation plays an important role in keeping Hambrick and Romain focused on their events. Hambrick always pulls out a copy of The Athlete's Prayer out of her backpack prior to each competition and also keeps the phrase, "Your focus determines your reality," in her thoughts.

One of the scriptures that Romain always reflects upon is a portion of Psalm 139 - "I will praise thy for I am fearfully and wonderfully, whole." The passage reminds her that even if today or tomorrow doesn't go as well as I want, then I know I am whole within Christ and nothing that will happen isn't supposed to happen.

Romain, who graduated in May with a psychology degree, may have finished her last meet in her college career, but has developed a number of skills that are going to help her going into the real world. She mentored a young thrower in Hambrick, who is ready to take over a portion of the leadership that Romain provided.

Keep up-to-date with the latest information on the NCAA East Prelims by following @UCF_Track on Twitter.



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