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Track and Field Hosts Black and Gold Invitational to Commence Outdoor Season

by Alex Clough

ORLANDO – For the first time in the program’s history, the UCF track and field team will be competing in Orlando as a member of the Big 12. The Knights are set to open outdoor season with the first of two meets at the UCF Track and Field Complex as 31 schools will compete alongside the squad at the Black and Gold Invitational.

The two-day meet will commence on Friday with the discus at 11 a.m. before 18 events spotlight some of the top athletes in the nation, concluding with the 4x400m relay on Saturday at 4:35 p.m.

UCF’s action will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday as three Knights, including Asherah Collins who recently scored in the event at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, will compete in the long jump. Numerous freshmen will make their outdoor debuts, with Y’Vette Harris set to make her introduction by competing in the javelin throw at 1:30 p.m. alongside Holly Cassels.

Track events will begin Friday at 6 p.m. with Briana Rodriguez set to represent the Black and Gold in the 400m hurdles. Nine Knights will compete in the 200m, as the first of 13 heats will be at 6:35 p.m. A trio of athletes will compete for UCF in the first distance event of the weekend, with Kendall Hughes, Karin Dobiasch and Hannay Taylor set to run in the 1500m at 7:35 p.m.

Brenna Mullaney will begin her outdoor campaign with the 2000m steeplechase at 8:35 p.m. before five Knights embark on the 5000m run to conclude Friday’s action at 9 p.m.

Saturday’s slate begins with Ashlyn Green competing in her first event of 2024, as the hammer throw, alongside the high jump, marks the first event of the day at 10 a.m. A reigning second-team All-American, Collins will compete in the triple jump as the program record holder, with Waller joining her at noon.

Four Knights will compete in the 100m hurdles to begin action for UCF on the track at 1:05 p.m. p.m., which will be followed by Kai’lyn Kirkland and Kate Henselmeier’s entrance in the 400m at 1:50 p.m.

Rayniah Jones will make her outdoor debut after garnering her eighth-career All-America honor at the 2024 Indoor Championships in Boston a week ago, as the senior will compete in the 100m at 2:50 p.m. She’ll be joined by five other Knights in the event.

The Knights will conclude their action on Saturday with the 4x400m at 4:10m, an event that UCF scored in at the Big 12 Indoor Championships last month.

Notable competitors include conference mates, Cincinnati and Kansas, along with Tennessee, Louisville, Maryland, Clemson and Rutgers, each beginning their outdoor campaigns in Orlando.

Admission to the meet will be free.