Track and Field Concludes Competition at Black and Gold Invitational to Open Outdoor Season

by Alex Clough

ORLANDO – Part one of the Knights’ opening outdoor slate concluded Saturday afternoon, as the UCF track and field team wrapped up competition at the Black and Gold Invitational. With some of the top program’s making the journey to the UCF track and field complex, the Knights saw strong performances to open one of the premier opening weekend meets in the country.

I was pleased overall this weekend, there were a lot of good things that happened. A lot of athletes had some good performances and we look forward to moving onto the next weekend and seeing what we can build on.

Head coach Dana Boone

Natalia Madison and Holly Cassels, competing in their third event of the weekend, placed among the top 15 in the high jump. The former claimed fifth with her opening mark of 1.68m. Cassels would secure a 1.58m jump to finish 15th. 

In the final throws event of the meet, Ashlyn Green made her 2024 debut with an 11th-place finish and a, 51.38m mark in the hammer throw. Back at the track, Asherah Collins and Alexis Waller each made the finals in the triple jump.

Collins would secure second place to conclude what has been a dominating opening weekend for the All-American. Her 12.88m jump was followed by a debut 12.16m mark from Waller to finish ninth in her first collegiate outdoor triple jump.

Two Knights finished in the top 10 in the first track event of the day as freshman Y’Vette Harris led the way in sixth with her time of 13.75. Madison concluded her weekend with a 14.23 and a strong 14.23 performance.

The 400m saw Kai’lyn Kirkland lead the way for UCF in 13th with her time of 55.47. Freshman Kate Henselmeier clocked a 57.59 to conclude her debut weekend.

Arguably the premier event of the weekend saw four Knights finish among the top 10, while all six would claim top-20 finishes in the 100m. Rayniah Jones, making her outdoor debut after garnering her eighth-career All-America honor at the NCAA Indoor Championships, led the way with her 11.60 and sixth-place finish.

I’Asia Wilson and Coco Branch would follow in seventh and eighth, as each clocked an 11.62. Kiah Williams, one of the top 200m/400m athletes in the nation, made her collegiate debut in the 100m and ran an 11.68 to finish 10th.

Paige Archer and Ani Wells rounded out the field, with the former running an 11.83 to claim 14th, as Wells clocked an 11.95 to finish 20th.

The 4x400m relay concluded the weekend as Harris, Kiah Williams, Branch and Paige Archer, clocked a 3:43.90 and a seventh-place finish.

UCF will be back at it again next weekend as it’s set to host the Knights Invite from March 22-23. Seniors will be honored at noon on the 23rd.