Knights Open The American Outdoor Championship

Photo Courtesy Simone Amaduzzi/The American
The UCF track and field team opened action at the 2021 American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championship on Friday at the USF Track and Field Complex.
Four Knights advanced to Sunday's finals in their respective events.
Rayniah Jones continued her impressive outdoor rookie campaign with a personal-best performance in the 200-meter dash. While Houston's Tristan Evelyn looked to be cruising to the victory in the fourth heat of the trials, Jones made her move down the stretch to edge ahead at the finish line. The Miami native ran a personal best 23.70, which was the fifth-best time in the trials, to move to Sunday's final.
Another personal best performance led Selena Wright to the finals in the 400-meter hurdles. The junior's 1:00.29 was not only her best in the event, but the sixth-best mark of the day.
Charlotte Crook and Valerie Lastra were both among the top four finishers in their 1500-meter run heats to earn their spots in the final. Crook finished in 4:28.27 while Lastra crossed the line in 4:31.25.
UCF's heptathlon duo, Holly Cassels and Kennedie Reese, completed four of the weekend's seven events on Friday. Cassels started the day with a personal best 14.98 in the 100-meter hurdles and both Knights set personal bests in the shot put. Cassels sits 10th in the standings with 2870 points and Reese is 18th with 2649 points after the first day.
Chloe Hill opened the weekend in the hammer throw, matching her personal best 170-11/52.10m on her first attempt of the day to move into the finals. The rookie was unable to top her first throw of the meet in her final three attempts and she finished ninth in her outdoor championship debut.
UCF Results
200m Trials
5. Rayniah Jones 23.70Q
12. Danielle Bess 24.14
18. Beyonce Defreitas 24.33
24. Ani Wells 24.94
400H Trials
6. Selena Wright 1:00.29q
14. Alicia Coleman 1:04.41
1500m Trials
7. Charlotte Crook 4:28.27Q
8. Valerie Lastra 4:31.25Q
13. Victoria Jung 4:33.87
19. Mariana Rodriguez 4:45.31
22. Kaitlyn Soltis 4:49.00
Hammer Throw
9. Chloe Hill 170-11/52.10m
12. Holly Cassels 14.98
14. Kennedie Reese 15.31 
High Jump
T8. Holly Cassels 5-3.75/1.61m
19. Kennedie Reese 4-9.5/1.46m
Shot Put
12. Holly Cassels 34-2/10/41m
13. Kennedie Reese 32-11/10.03m
13. Kennedie Reese 26.67
18. Holly Cassels 26.87
10. Holly Cassels 2870 pts
18. Kennedie Reese 2649 pts
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