The Eugene Squad Ready For Nationals

ORLANDO – The last four times the UCF track and field team has traveled to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, it has been to compete in one or two events. 
Head coach Dana Boone was ready to bring a squad to Eugene, and her team was up to the task.
Seven Knights – plus an alternate for the 4x1 relay – are in Eugene, Oregon to compete in five different events this week.
The first Knight to win the American Athletic Conference pentathlon and heptathlon titles, Brittany Floyd has continued to make UCF history during her lone season with the Black and Gold.
The first Knight to punch her ticket to Eugene, she is also UCF's first track and field student-athlete to qualify for the NCAA Championship in the heptathlon. 
"To leave my name in the UCF history books, I think that's a really remarkable way to end my career," Floyd said. "I feel like it's a dream come true. You know when you write your goals down, it's like 'reach for the stars.' This was one of those reaching for the stars. Just to hit this goal feels really good."
When Floyd traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to the NCAA East Preliminary Round, she already knew she would be making the trip to Eugene. On May 28, she watched as her teammates continued to grow her NCAA squad.
Adrienne Adams was in the second flight of the discus at the regional round. Her 53.53m mark put her in the top five with just the third flight left. The top 12 competitors would advance to Eugene. After she finished her three throws, it was a waiting game..
"I was so nervous that I had to leave the ring and go by the high jump so I couldn't hear or see anything," Adams said. "I just didn't want to know until the end. Once I saw the results, I was standing in shock because I couldn't believe it."
With her name among the 12 competitors from the East Preliminary, Adams had secured her first NCAA championship appearance. She is the first Knight to qualify in the discus since 2009.
Not long after Adams qualified, the 4x1 relay took the places on the track. UCF has sent a 4x1 to the national meet six times since 2011, including the 2019 squad that included Ciara Holback and Beyoncé Defreitas. The duo added Rayniah Jones and I'Asia Wilson to the mix in Bloomington.
The youngest of the bunch, Wilson was the anchor in Bloomington. As she headed for the finish line, she 
"When you're finishing, you can see people in your peripheral and I was trying to catch them," Wilson said."I didn't know what the time was so I was nervous."
As the times populated, UCF sat in seventh place, earning the "q" to move on to Eugene. For Defreitas, her approach in Eugene won't be any different than any other meet. 
"You just have to take it as the next meet," Defreitas said. "Don't put too much pressure on yourself, just go out there and have fun. That's what I did my freshman year, just went out there and had fun."
In 2019, only one member of the 4x1 had ever qualified for nationals. The 2022 version features three Knights who have made a trip, giving them more confidence.
"This time, we're more experienced," Holback said. "The fears are gone and we can just go in and fully compete."
When Rayniah Jones lined up for her 100-meter hurdles quarterfinal in Bloomington, UCF was already sending competitors in three events. Jones herself had already qualified as a member of the 4x1.
"It's expected of me to go to nationals  in the hurdles," Jones said. "To go to the 4x1, as the first event of the day, it really set the tone for me in the hurdles to just go out there an have fun. I know what I'm capable of and the fact that I made it in the 4x1. I just told myself, go out there, do what you gotta do and you'll make it there."
Jones returns to Eugene after spending nearly all of June 2021 in the city. She was the 2021 NCAA runner-up in the 100H, earning UCF's best finish in the event, and stayed in Oregon for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, just missing out on the finals. 
 It was déjà vu for Asherah Collins
The final competitor of the regional weekend, the sophomore was in 14th place in the triple jump  with one jump left. After talking to her jumps coach, Glenn Smith, she had her mark. She confidently ran down the runway, and her mark was enough to move her into the top 10.
"I was a little nervous because I went in ninth, and then I went to 10th…and then I went to 11th," Collins said. "That was an amazing day and I'm glad I made it back."
She stayed in the top 12 and makes her return to Eugene for the second straight season in the triple jump.
The 2022 championship squad is comprised of a variety of student-athletes. Some are making their NCAA debuts; some are veterans; some are representing the Black and Gold in new events.
While each one brings a different outlook and experience, they all have one thing in common. All of them are excited to be competing in Eugene.
The women's events at the 2022 NCAA Championships begin Thursday. The 4x1 relay opens the week at 8:32 pm ET and can be seen on ESPNU.
Friday is when the heptathlon begins and it can be seen on ESPN2 with individual events being streamed on ESPN3. The heptathlon kicks off with the 100H at 4:00 pm ET.
Saturday's final events can be seen on ESPN, again with individual events being streamed on ESPN3, starting with the heptathlon long jump at 1:30 pm ET.

Event Schedule 

Thursday (ESPNU/ESPN3)
8:32 pm ET: 4x1 Relay Semifinal
9:32 pm ET: 100H Semifinal
Friday (ESPN2/ESPN3)
4:00 pm ET: Heptathlon 100H
5:00 pm ET: Heptathlon High Jump
7:00 pm ET: Heptathlon Shot Put
10:43 pm ET: Heptathlon 200m
Saturday (ESPN/ESPN3)
2:30 pm ET: Heptathlon Long Jump
3:45 pm ET: Heptathlon Javelin
5:05 pm ET: Discus Final
5:32 pm ET: 4x1 Relay Final
5:50 pm ET: Triple Jump Final
6:12 pm ET: 100H Final
8:13 pm ET: Heptathlon 800m