May 27, 2005
Randall's Island, N.Y. - Sophomore Yanique Booth narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 100m hurdles final at the NCAA East Regional meet on Friday afternoon, finishing only 0.03 seconds outside the eighth and last spot. Her winning time of 13.54 placed her second in her heat and is a new school record. In other action the 4x100m relay team, and junior Marilyn Stephens in the 400m, both finished 12th in their prelims.
"Today was definitely a step in the right direction," said head coach Alex Smolka. "Yanique came so close today and this is something to build on for the future."
In her heat, the third of four, Booth trailed only 0.12 seconds behind heat winner South Carolina's Ronnetta Alexander, who had the fourth-fastest time in the region coming into the event. Booth also ran the fastest time of any athlete from a Florida school, beating Miami's Amber Williams by 0.20 seconds and UCF's Diana Chin, the Atlantic Sun Conference champion, by over half a second.
Earlier in the day, Booth ran the second leg for the 4x100m relay team that finished a disappointing 12th in their prelims. The team of Jian Jones, Booth, Daquia McCoy and Stephens finished third in their heat in a time of 46.09, almost 0.80 seconds slower than their winning time at the A-Sun Championships. A repeat of that time would have handily qualified the Owls for Saturday's final.
Stephens, running in only her sixth-ever open 400m race, also finished 12th in her prelims in a respectable time of 54.50. She finished fifth in her heat, the toughest heat in the event, and was only just over a quarter of a second out of fourth.
The Owls will finish their participation in the regional by competing in Saturday's 4x400m relay, the penultimate track event of the meet. Live results from all events are available on www.ncaasports.com.