Track & Field Start Strong at AAC Outdoor Championships

TAMPA, Fla. - The finale of the UCF track and field squad's farewell tour of the American Athletic Conference got off to a great start on Friday, as seven Knights advanced to the finals in the 1500-meter run and 200-meter dash. With only three track events and one field event down, the Knights will continue to build towards championship Sunday where they'll look to claim their fourth-consecutive AAC title.

"We had a very solid first day as the team stepped up and did what was needed in order to make some finals," said head coach Dana Boone following the first day. "The hammer started us off in the scoring so that was good to see and the multis are in a good position heading into day 2, we are looking forward to competing tomorrow."

The first point for the squad came in the hammer throw, the Knights lone field event of the day. Chloe Hill and Ashlyn Green both advanced to the finals, securing six points with two big performances. Green saw her highest conference finish as she came in seventh with her throw of 52.50m. Hill led the way in fifth with her 55.92m mark.

Natalia Madison and Holly Cassels had an excellent first day in the heptathlon as through four events, Madison sits in third with 3411 points and Cassels is in sixth with 3024. The multis tandem set three new personal bests between them, as both had a strong performance in the shot put Madison finished fifth with her new best mark of 11.83m.

After a dominating performance at the indoor championships in February, the sprints squad saw five advances to the 200-meter dash finals to start their weekend off. Latasha Smith led the way with the program's third-best time of 23.03, a remarkable performance for Smith, who tomorrow will look to do the same in the 400-meter. She was trailed by Rayniah Jones who too ran a personal best time of 23.15, the program's new sixth-best performance all-time. Mariana Rodriguez (4:27.99) and Lillian Holtery (4:29.35) led the way for distance in the 1500-meter run as both.

100m Hurdles
Holly Cassels | 14.75 (9) PR
Natalia Madison | 14.04 (4)

High Jump
Holly Cassels | 1.62m (7)
Natalia Madison | 1.71m (2)

Shot Put
Holly Cassels | 11.11m (6)
Natalia Madison | 11.83m (5)*

200m Dash
Holly Cassels | 26.11 (7)
Natalia Madison | 24.63 (2)

Hammer Throw
Chloe Hill | 55.92m (5)
Ashlyn Green | 52.50m (7)

1500m Run
Isabella Richardson | 4:47.40 (19)
Mariana Rodriguez | 4:27.99 (9)
Lillian Holtery | 4:29.35 (11)
Kendall Hughes | 4:34.36 (15)

200m Dash
I'Asia Wilson / 23.70 (11)
Beyonce Defreitas / 23.35 (4)
Kiah Williams / 23.56 (7)
Latasha Smith / 23.03 (1)*
Daija Lampkin / 23.42 (6)
Rayniah Jones / 23.15 (2)*
Paige Archer / 23.74 (13)

400m Hurdles
Alicia Coleman / 1:01.95 (9)