Knights Conclude Strong Opening Weekend at Rod McCravy Memorial

by Alex Clough

LOUISVILLE, KY. – The 2024 campaign got off to a resounding start for the UCF track and field team as the Knights concluded the opening weekend Saturday afternoon at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Louisville, Ky. Rayniah Jones built off her impressive win in the 200m on Friday, securing the top collegiate time once again in the 60m hurdles.

There were some good things that happened this weekend. It was nice to see some of our freshmen step up in Gainesville as well as see some people open up with personal bests. Anytime you open up with your best that’s a good start to the season.

Head Coach Dana Boone

Saturday’s action got underway with I’Asia Wilson looking to secure her spot in the finals of the 60m dash following a strong performance in the prelims on Friday. Wilson bested her time by .01, clocking in at 7.50 to claim seventh among a stacked field.

In the finals of the 60m dash, the Lakeland native matched her time in the semifinals to secure a fourth-place finish, capping off a strong opening meet with her second-best performance to start a season in her UCF career.

Twenty minutes later, Jones got her day underway with a similar showing, running the top collegiate time once again in the 60m hurdles semifinals, advancing in third place with a time of 8.13. Transfer Ese Awusa completed her exciting UCF debut with a 13th-place finish in the semifinals with a time of 8.79.

Looking to break into the sub-8.10’s, Jones secured her third consecutive top-three finish and the fastest collegiate time of the meet, running an 8.09, the fastest opening time to a season in her career. For the All-American, her performance in Louisville serves as a perfect start to the final season of her storied collegiate and UCF career.

Rayniah had a great start to her final season so I was pleased with that. We have some injuries that we need to heal and get everyone back to being healthy and I’m sure we will continue to grow as the season progresses.

Dana Boone

The Knights’ opening weekend concluded with the 200m, as two freshmen capped off their UCF debuts with impressive showings. After just missing out on the top-10 in the 300m yesterday, Janiah Pulliam finished fourth with a time of 56.80 ahead of three athletes from hosts Kentucky. Kate Henselmeier also wrapped up her collegiate debut with a 59.68 performance in the event.

Next up for the Knights is a similar dual-meet weekend. On Saturday, Jan. 20, in Lubbock, Texas, distance will join the sprints squad at the Corky Classic at the site of the 2024 Big 12 Indoor Championship. Meanwhile, the field group will compete from Jan. 19-20 at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.