March 20, 2013
In six seasons under head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, the UCF track and field program has had 14 athletes earn 41 NCAA All-American distinctions. Prior to her arrival, the program had never produced an All-American. Below are the 14 Knights who have gained this high honor, sorted alphabetically.
Dominique Booker - 2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Meters, 200 Meters)
Speed is in Dominique Booker's
blood. Her mother Stefani was a sprinter at Boston University and a member of the national champion 4x200 relay team in 1981. Her father Martin was a three-time All American at Villanova and a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in 1984. So it's no surprise that Booker is followed in their footsteps as an All American in her freshman year at UCF.
In 2011, Booker emerged as a NCAA Indoor Championships qualifier in the 60 meters and 200 meters. She finished 10th in the preliminaries of the 60 meters and 15th in the prelims of the 200 meters. In the outdoor season, she would go on to run the first leg for the C-USA Outdoor Champion 4x100 relay team, who recorded a school-record time of 43.42. She traveled to the NCAA Outdoor Championships with the relay squad, but due to an injury, she was forced to sit out of the action.
2013 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Hurdles)
transferred from Eastern Kentucky to UCF for her senior year and she made an immediate impression on the team by qualifying for her first NCAA Championships. After ranking 11th in the country in the 60 hurdles at the end of the regular season, Bowen went on to earn Second Team laurels in the event.
Champelle Brown - 2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (4x400 Relay)
In her senior year, Champelle Brown
ran the first leg of UCF's 4x400 relay team that qualified for nationals with a school-record time of 3:34.00 at the Notre Dame Last Chance Meet. The squad went on to place 11th at the championships for All-America Second Team distinction with the second-fastest time in program history (3:35.70). Throughout the season, she became a C-USA Indoor Championships medalist with a second-place finish in the 400 meters. She also ran the first leg of the C-USA Outdoor Championship 4x400 relay team that recorded a then-school-record time of 3:36.37 at the NCAA East Regionals to qualify for nationals.
Afia Charles -2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (4x400 Relay)
In her freshman year, Afia Charles
ran the second leg of UCF's 4x400 relay team that qualified for nationals with a school-record time of 3:34.00 at the Notre Dame Last Chance Meet. The squad went on to place 11th at the championships for All America Second Team distinction with the second-fastest time in program history (3:35.70). She set the freshman and school records in the 400 meters at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships. Epitomizing the ultimate role as a student-athlete, she was also one of a program-best five Knights named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team.
Daughter of Olympian sprinter Rupeta Charles, Afia hails from Greenbelt, Md., and was a high school teammate of fellow All American Aurieyall Scott.
Jackie Coward - 2009 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Hurdles)
2010 NCAA Outdoor All-American (100 Hurdles)
2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Hurdles)
2011 Outdoor All-American (100 Hurdles, 4x100 Relay)
2012 Indoor All-American (60 Hurdles)
2012 Outdoor All-American (100 Hurdles)
Caryl Smith Gilbert
dubbed Jackie Coward
as "the one who started it all" for UCF track and field. A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Coward's resume as a Knight is unparalleled. Coward is a 10-time Conference USA champion; a 14-time all-conference selection; a three-time indoor All-American; the first two-time outdoor All-American in school history; and an NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships medalist.
Coward claimed her third-straight 60-hurdles conference indoor title in 2012 with a NCAA-qualifying time of 8.08, topping her preliminaries time for the new C-USA Indoor Championship Meet record. For her efforts, Coward was awarded with the honor of Performance of the Meet. She then went on to help UCF to its highest finish ever at the NCAA Indoor Championships (8th place) with her fifth-place showing in the 60 hurdles for her third All-America distinction. In the outdoor season, Coward defended her conference titles in the 100 and 400 hurdles before breaking her own school record in the 100 hurdles at the NCAA Championships. She just missed the podium in the finals as her fourth-place finish secured another All-American First Team honor.
Coward is the school's record holder in the 100 hurdles (12.81), 60 hurdles (8.02) and has been a part of the record-holding 4x400 relay, sprint medley and shuttle hurdles squads. In her junior season, she took third place in the 100 hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as the Knights first medalist in school history. She also subbed in for an injured teammate in the first leg of the 4x100 relay to help lead the squad to a fourth-place finish and the school's first All-America distinction for a relay team. She also earned bronze at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60 hurdles. That year, she was named the Conference USA Outdoor and Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
The previous year, Coward emerged as UCF's first outdoor All-American in school history by finishing fifth nationally in the 100 hurdles. In 2009, she became the program's second freshman in as many years to earn All-American honors at the NCAA Indoor National Championships.
The Knoxville native attended West High School where she ran for former UCF assistant coach Tyangela Sanders.
2012 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Meters, 200 Meters)
2012 NCAA Outdoor All-American (100 Meters, 200 Meters)
2013 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Meters, 200 Meters)
came to UCF as the No. 1 recruit in the nation, and in her freshman year, she did not disappoint. Freeman capped her stellar rookie indoor season with two USTFCCCA First Team All-America honors in the 60 and 200 meters. Along the way, she earned UCF's highest finish ever at the meet with a second-place showing in the 60M with a school and freshman record time of 7.15. Her performance came one day after she earned All-America laurels in the 200 meters with a fourth-place time of 23.18 - an indoor personal best that fell .02 short of the school record.
Freeman continued her success in the outdoor season with First Team honors in both the 100 and 200 meters. After appearing on SportsCenter's Top 10 earlier in the season with the then-world leading fastest time in the 100 meters, Freeman took fifth place at the NCAA Championships in the event. She broke her own school and freshman record in the 200-meter semifinals before going on to place fourth in the finals.
Freeman shined at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships with two bronze medals in the 60M and 200M. Along with Aurieyall Scott, the pair were responsible for scoring all of UCF's 30 points at the meet to deliver the best finish in school history (5th place).
Jacquelyn Gilchrist - 2012 NCAA Outdoor All-American (Long Jump)
wrapped up her career with her first All-America nod at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Gilchrist claimed second team laurels after her personal-best outing in the long jump with a mark of 6.25m/20-6.25 for 13th place. It capped a memorable season for the senior, who improved her personal record on four occasions throughout the year.
Lizzie Harris - 2008 NCAA Indoor All-American (High Jump)
culminated an impressive indoor freshman campaign with an outstanding performance at the 2008 NCAA Indoor National Championships on March 14, 2008. The first Knight to qualify to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships in the program's history, Harris participated in the high jump at the event in Fayetteville, Ark.
Matching her personal best in the event with a leap of 5-10.75, Harris finished in a tie for ninth place and, as one of the top eight American-born competitors in the field, gained All-American honors. Harris was the first All-American in the program's history.
At the end of her freshman campaign, Harris held the school's indoor records for the high jump, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash. During the outdoor season, she also competed in the NCAA East Regional in the high jump and as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team.
A Miami, Fla., native, Harris attended Miami Northwestern High School before beginning her collegiate career with the Knights.
Tiki James - 2009 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Hurdles)
made an immediate impact on the UCF track and field program, earning NCAA Indoor All-American honors in the 60 hurdles in her first season competing as a Knight after transferring from Miami. The junior finished fifth in the event's finals on March 14, earning four points for the Knights as they posted the program's highest finish at the national meet.
In the preliminaries on March 13, James used a time of 8.27 seconds to finish third in her heat and advance to the finals as a timed qualifier. The Miami, Fla., native crossed the line in 8.20 seconds in the finals to claim fifth place.
James is the school record-holder in the event after posting a time of 8.17 last Saturday at the Virginia Tech Last Chance Meet. The time was the ninth best in the nation entering the national championships and earned James a spot in the national meet.
In her first indoor season with UCF, James also set a school record in the 55 hurdles, running the event in 7.70 seconds at the Tom Jones Memorial on Jan. 24. She also competed in the long jump.
James was named the Conference USA Indoor Athlete of the Week on Jan. 20 after finishing third in the 60 hurdles with a provisional qualifying time and fifth in the long jump at the Kentucky Invitational.
Lynne Layne -2011 NCAA Outdoor All-American (4x100 Relay)
2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (4x400 Relay)
followed Caryl Smith Gilbert
from Tennessee to UCF and became one of the key components to establishing a tradition of excellence for UCF track and field. In her final year at UCF, Layne emerged as two-time All American in the relay events. During the indoor season, she medaled in the 60 meters with a third-place finish at the C-USA Championships. She went on to help the Knights' 4x400 relay squad to an 11th place finish at the championships for All-America Second Team distinction with the second-fastest time in program history (3:35.70). She would go on to run the third leg for the C-USA Outdoor Champion 4x100 relay team, who recorded a school-record time of 43.42, and eventually placed fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Layne also emerged as an NCAA Outdoor Regional Qualifier in the 100 meters and the 4x100 relay. Epitomizing the ultimate role as a student-athlete, she was also one of a program-best five Knights named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team.
Sheila Paul - 2011 NCAA Outdoor All-American (100 Meters, 4x100 Relay)
2012 NCAA Outdoor All-American (100 Meters)
capped her career at UCF on a high note with her second-straight All-American distinction in the 100 meters. Paul was one of UCF's nation-best three entries in the event and ran a season-best time of 11.39 to finish 13th overall for All-American Second Team honors. A year prior, she ran the fourth leg of the 4x100 relay to become part of the first relay team in program history to earn All-America honors, clocking a time of 43.67 to finish fourth in the NCAA Championship finals. She also finished 16th in the 100 meters at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She went on to compete at the USA Outdoor Track and Field championships in the 100m prelims.
As a freshman, Paul had an impressive start to her career at UCF by breaking three school records and four freshman records in 2009. She was also a medalist at the C-USA Outdoor Championships in the 200 meters with a personal best performance (23.53).
Aurieyall Scott - 2011 NCAA Outdoor All-American (100 Meters, 200 Meters, 4x100 Relay)
2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Meters, 200 Meters, 4x400 Relay)
2012 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Meters)
2012 NCAA Outdoor All-American (100 Meters, 200 Meters)
2013 NCAA Indoor All-American (60 Meters, 200 Meters)
burst on to the scene in 2011 as a six-time All American and the U.S. Track and Field junior champion in the 100-and- 200-meter races. She added three more All-American honors to her resume in 2012 before going on to become UCF's first NCAA champion (60M) in 2013.
As a freshman, Scott emerged as the C-USA 60 meters indoor champion and a three-time C-USA outdoor champion (100m, 200m, 4x100 relay). For her efforts, she was named as the C-USA Freshman of the Meet and the High Point Scorer.
Scott broke two UCF program records in her first day at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In the 200 meters, she set a new record with a 23.16 in the preliminaries before finishing eighth in the finals for First Team All-American honors. Scott ran a 7.19 in the preliminaries of the 60 meters, winning her heat and breaking her own record that claimed a C-USA championship title. She finished seventh in the finals for another All-America First Team distinction.
She was just as successful at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, taking fourth-place in the 100 meters despite an hour-weather delay and a wet track. She also ran the second leg of the 4x100 relay that placed fourth at the championships after claiming the C-USA Outdoor championship with a school-record time of 43.42. She also ran to a 10th place finish in the 200-meter for Second Team laurels.
Epitomizing the ultimate role as a student-athlete, she was also one of a program-best five Knights named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team in 2011.
Although she was hampered by injury for much of the 2012 indoor season, Scott recovered in time to help UCF to its highest finish ever at the NCAA Indoor Championships (8th place) with her third-place showing in the 60 meters. Along with freshman Octavious Freeman, she represented UCF as the only program at the meet to advance two competitors to the finals. She emerged from the finals with her first NCAA Championships medal and her second-consecutive All-America honor in the event. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, she automatically advanced to the 100-meter finals where she took eighth place. Although Scott finished among the 200-meter semifinals' top eight spots, Texas A&M's Ashley Collier's automatic qualifying time in the third heat edged Scott for a place in the finals. Nevertheless, Scott walked away with Second Team laurels.
Scott shined at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships by matching her personal best time of 7.13 in the 60M finals to claim gold and become UCF's first NCAA champion. The time is the fifth-best performance in collegiate history. She also picked up a silver medal in the 200M and reigns as the Knights' most decorated All-American in school history.
Dione Thomas - 2009 NCAA Indoor All-American (Triple Jump)
A senior from Jacksonville, Fla., Dione Thomas
peaked at the right time to have a stellar indoor season, culminating in gaining NCAA Indoor All-American honors on March 14. Thomas was named an All-American in the triple jump after posting a mark of 42-2.75/12.87m and claiming 10th place.
After the season, Thomas became the first UCF track and field athlete to be named the Conference USA Field Athlete of the Year. The award was voted on by the league's head coaches.
Thomas shattered her own school record in the triple jump at the Virginia Tech Last Chance Meet on March 7 to qualify for the NCAA Championships. She jumped 43-7.0/13.28m at Virginia Tech, more than a foot longer than the previous school record she set in 2008. She entered the national meet with the seventh-highest mark in the country in 2009.
At the C-USA Indoor Championships on Feb. 28, Thomas claimed the individual event title in the triple jump, posting a mark of 41-7.0/12.67m.
Thomas was not just limited to the triple jump. The senior also ran the third leg in the 4x400 relay that finished fourth at the C-USA Indoor Championships and also claimed second and gained eight points in the long jump.
Sonnisha Williams - 2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (Long Jump)
2012 NCAA Indoor All-American (Long Jump)
2012 NCAA Outdoor All-American (Long Jump)
has qualified for the National Championships as both an individual and a relay team member.
After emerging as the 2012 C-USA Indoor Championships long jump gold medalist by tying her school-record personal best, Williams helped UCF to its highest finish ever at the NCAA Indoor Championships (8th place) with her ninth-place showing in the long jump for USTFCCCA Second-Team All-America distinction. She went on to top her own school record at the C-USA Outdoor Championships for second place in the long jump with a mark that met the provisional standard to qualify for the USA Olympic Trials. Williams secured All-American Second Team status with her 14th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championship finals.
She earned her first NCAA Indoor All-American accolade in the long jump in her sophomore year with a seventh-place finish. Earlier in the indoor season, she set the school record in the long jump with a leap of 6.32m (20-9) at the Hokie Invitational. She went on to become a C-USA outdoor champion with a school-record mark of 6.50m (21-4), besting the eventual national champion in the event at the meet. She also ran the second leg of the outdoor 4x400m relay that set a new school record with a time of 3:36.37 in the NCAA East preliminaries to qualify for nationals.
In her freshman year, Williams recorded a new outdoor freshman record in the long jump at the NCAA East Championships with a jump of 20-6.25/6.25m to earn a spot in the finals and an eventual spot at the NCAA Championships.