Freeman’s sprint highlights Knights’ quiet spring success
Published: Monday, April 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 10:04
Did anybody see that?
It was kind of fast, so it’d be easy to have missed. Then again, it was a Top Play on SportsCenter the other night, so it was kind of hard to miss.
Seriously, though, did anybody see what UCF freshman sprinter Octavious Freeman did?
In Freeman’s first 100-meter race as a Knight, the freshman phenom set the fastest time in the world so far this year. Freeman ran an 11.10 in the event, shattering the UCF, Florida Relays and freshman records and automatically qualified herself for a spot to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer.
Here’s an earth-shattering thought: A UCF athlete may be the best in the world at what she does.
Somebody really ought to go pat track & field coach Caryl Smith Gilbert on the back for even recruiting Freeman.
You know how excited football or basketball fans get if UCF recruits a 4-star athlete? Well, Freeman might as well have been a 10-star. USA Today and ESPN Rise took notice while she was in high school.
Freeman is easily the most highly recruited athlete to ever come to this school. Some of her teammates rank among those ranks, too. Aurieyall Scott and Jackie Coward were among the top female track athletes in the country coming out of high school in their respective recruiting classes.
The point? UCF’s No. 13 track & field team is really good. Why isn’t Athletics making T-shirts yet?
The quiet success of the track team is sort of reflective of what’s going on at UCF right now. The Knights baseball team is ranked No. 14 at the time of press.
Softball isn’t ranked, yet, but can anyone remember the last time they lost? The Knights have won nine games in a row and haven’t lost since March 17.
Spring isn’t exactly the height of popularity for college sports, but UCF fans really ought to embrace what the school is currently very good at. Formerly, the Knights were only contenders for a national title in cheerleading. Now, though, track is right up there while baseball may insert itself into the conversation by season’s end.
The hierarchy of college sports isn‘t subject to change. While college baseball is popular to an extent, there’s a reason Bright House Networks Stadium holds around 45,000 spectators while Jay Bergman Field maxes out around 3,000.
Hardly anyone is going to trade success on the football field for a track & field national championship, or a Final Four appearance in basketball for a trip to Omaha in baseball, but that might just be the hand UCF is dealt.
Deal with it. Things certainly could be worse.