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Track and Field Travels to Louisville, Gainesville to Open Indoor Season

by Alex Clough

ORLANDO - A new era of UCF Track and Field will commence this weekend as head coach Dana Boone and her squads will split up to open the 2024 indoor campaign. The Friday-Saturday slate will begin the nearly two-month campaign leading up to the NCAA Indoor National Championships in Boston, Massachusetts, from March 8-9.

 

ROD MCCRAVY MEMORIAL INVITE | LOUSIVILLE, KY. | HOSTS: KENTUCKY | JAN. 12-13

Boone and the sprints group will embark on the Rod McCravy Memorial Invite in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center, hosted by the Wildcats. The two-day meet from January 12-13 includes some of the top programs in the nation, including reigning outdoor champions and now-conference mates, Texas Longhorns.

Louisville and Miami, both having finished in the top half of the 2023 Atlantic Coastal Conference Indoor Championships, along with the Big Ten’s Ohio State will serve as a strong benchmark for the Knights early on. Cincinnati, which was among the three American Athletic Conference programs to transition into the Big 12 along with Houston, will also serve as a familiar opponent for the Knights.

 COMPETING: ALABAMA STATE, OHIO STATE, UCF, TEXAS, CINCINNATI, HOWARD, MIAMI (OHIO), LOUISVILLE, MIAMI, KENTUCKY, TULANE, BUTLER

JIMMY CARNES INVITATIONAL | GAINESVILLE, FL. | HOSTS: GSC | JAN. 12

While the sprints squad will make the first journey to Kentucky since 2020 during the indoor season, the distance and field groups will make the short trip north to Gainesville, returning to the Jimmy Carnes Invitational at the Alachua County Sports and Events Center for the second consecutive season on Friday, January 12.

There will be plenty of new faces among both squads, as following his first season leading distance during the cross country season, assistant coach Bryan Harmon will now undertake his first indoor season. Freshman standouts from a year ago such as Isabella Richardson and Penelope Sosa return alongside veteran Charlotte Crooke who will make her first appearance on the track since 2022. Promising newcomers such as Hannah Taylor and Abigail Stratton will look to make their mark in arguably the nation’s best distance conference.

Assistant coach Glenn Smith and his field squads, consisting of jumps, throws, and multis, added Y’vette Harris and Alexis Waller who will each make their UCF and collegiate debuts this weekend. Holly Cassels and Natalia Madison both set new personal records and jumped into the top five in program history in the pentathlon last season as the latter sits just 110 points away from Brittany Floyd’s indoor record of 3,865.

 COMPETING: FLORIDA STATE, FLORIDA ATLANTIC, SOUTH FLORIDA, FIU, EMBRY-RIDDLE, JACKSONVILLE. SCAD SAVANNAH, ST. THOMAS (FL.), WARNER, THOMAS (GA.)

Day one will kick off in Gainesville with a quartet of Knights set to compete in the long jump at noon. Action in Kentucky will start with the 60m dash prelims at 3 p.m., followed shortly after by the 60m hurdles at 3:45 p.m.

Following the conclusion of the Jimmy Carnes Invitational on Friday with the 4x400m relay, day two of the Rod McCravy Memorial Invite on Saturday will start with the semifinals of the 60m dash semifinals at noon and conclude nearly two hours later with the 400m dash at 1:45 p.m. following the finals of both the 60m dash and hurdles.

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