Knights, For Second Consecutive Season, Qualify 14 for NCAA East Preliminary Round

Entries 2023 DI track and field East Preliminary Schedule of Events

For the second consecutive season, UCF has qualified 14 athletes for the NCAA East Preliminary Track and Field Championships. Announced this afternoon, the Knights will be well represented in Jacksonville, Florida, for next week's competition as head coach Dana Boone and her squad are fresh off their fourth consecutive American Athletic Conference title. Spanning seven events, along with a 4x1 relay squad, UCF is set to return to the Jax Track at Hodges Stadium for the second time this season, following a successful weekend in late April at the East Coast Relays. The East Preliminary round of the NCAA Championships will take place in occurrence with the West Preliminary, hosted in Sacramento, California, from May 24-27.

Five Knights enter the preliminary round with a top-10 rank, as Latasha Smith is currently first in the 200-meter and third in the 400-meter dash. Smith, who's set to embark on her third NCAA Outdoor Championships, will compete in the first round of the 200-meter dash with the second-fastest time in the NCAA and the third-fastest time in the world this season. At the AAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Tampa, Florida last week, the junior set the new program and conference record with her event-winning 22.09 performance. Smith's first medal of the day too set a new program/conference record as her time of 51.21 is currently 11th best in the nation.

Rayniah Jones too holds two top-three seeded performances as her breakout in the 100-meter dash has propelled the Miami native to the second-best time in the East Prelims with her remarkable title-winning 10.94 performance at the AAC Outdoor Championships. As the junior looks to qualify for the NCAA National Championships for the third time in her career, her prowess in the 100-meter hurdles continues to impress the nation. With yet another gold medal in the event at conference, Jones ran her new program record at the East Coast Relays in Jacksonville, Florida, last month. Her time of 12.63 is currently the third fastest time entering the preliminary round.

Rounding out the 100-meter dash field are Janyah Jasper, Daija Lampkin, Ani Wells, Kaylor Harris, and I'Asia Wilson. Jasper is currently ranked 17th in the event with her time of 11.28, set at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational last month. Lampkin follows closely, ranked 21st with her sixth-place performance at the AAC Outdoor Championships (11.31). Wells and Harris sit back-to-back in 31st and 32nd as they both ran a career-best 11.38 at the East Coast Relays this season. Wilson is the last Knight to qualify as she's currently ranked 41st in the field with her time of 11.43, set at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational.

Beyonce Defreitas joins Smith and Lampkin in the 200-meter dash as she ran a new personal best and secured a fourth-place finish at the AAC Outdoor Championships with her time of 22.81. The British Virgin Islands native is ranked 12th in the event.
Kiah Williams enters the Preliminary round with the eighth-ranked time of 51.59, which still remains the second-best performance in program history. Alicia Coleman will compete alongside Jones and Harris in the 100-meter hurdles as she is currently ranked 38th with her personal best time of 13.40.

Seven Knights will be available to run the 4x100-meter relay as UCF will look to replicate its First Team All-America status set at last year's NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. The sixth-ranked performance of 43.26 was set at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational, the third-best time in program history.

Three field athletes will make their return to the NCAA Championships as Asherah Collins will look to advance to Nationals for the third consecutive season. Collins, along with Jasmine Scott-Kilgo, qualified for both the triple and long jump prelims. Both saw podium finishes at the AAC Outdoor Championships as Collins set the new program record in the triple jump with her 13.30m mark. Natalia Madison will make her NCAA Championships debut in the triple jump as she is currently ranked 34th with her career best 12.78 mark. Adrienne Adams has been among the best throwers in the nation this season as she enters the discus prelim ranked ninth with her program-record 57.76 mark, set earlier this season at the Knights Invite.

For the entire list of athletes competing at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor East Preliminary Track and Field Championships, visit this link.

Full List of Qualifiers
Rayniah Jones - 100-meter dash, 100-mter hurdles, 4x100 relay
Janyah Jasper - 100-meter dash, 4x100 relay
Daija Lampkin - 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 4x100 relay
Ani Wells - 100-meter dash, 4x100 relay
Kaylor Harris- 100-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, 4x100 relay
I'Asia Wilson - 100-meter dash, 4x100 relay
Latasha Smith- 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash
Beyonce Defreitas - 200-meter dash, 4x100 relay
Kiah Williams - 400-meter dash
Alicia Coleman - 100-meter hurdles
Jasmine Scott-Kilgo - long jump, triple jump
Asherah Collins - long jump, triple jump
Natalia Madison - triple jump
Adrienne Adams - discus