Track and Field Rises to Ninth in Latest USTFCCCA National Rankings

by Alex Clough

ORLANDO – Multiple Knights propelled themselves into the national lists at the Florida Relays in Gainesville this past weekend, leading to the UCF track and field team slotting in at No. 9 in the latest USTFCCCA Index. The ranking secures the Black and Gold a place in the top 10 for back-to-back weeks to open the outdoor campaign, mirroring their blazing start in 2023.

After a debut placement at 10th a week ago, head coach Dana Boone and her squad rose to the occasion in an action-packed meet against many programs that join the Knights in the top 25. UCF is among five Big 12 programs to feature in the latest rankings, equaling the SEC’s tally as both conferences hold a stranglehold at the top of the nation. The Knights are also tabbed third in the south region.

The Florida Relays have continued to produce strong performances for coach Boone in her time leading the program, as the Knights consistently compete alongside the top programs in the country. This weekend saw more of the same, with UCF claiming multiple podium finishes and personal bests.

Rayniah Jones led the way with a season-best showing in the 100m hurdles as the senior doesn’t just sit atop the conference but ranks second in the nation and the world. Her 12.78 in the event's final propelled Jones to become just the third athlete in the world to go sub-12.80 seconds.

For the senior, the performance marks the fifth time in her storied career that she’s gone under the mark and in a bonus, qualifies the eight-time All-America for her second U.S. Olympic Trials.

Asherah Collins also jumped into fifth following a season-best performance in the triple jump. The senior was just 0.04m short of her program record-13.34m mark in the event, claiming third at the Relays with a 13.30m outing. The All-American also remains in the top 10 in the long jump with her personal best-6.45m.

After claiming the program's inaugural Big 12 Athlete of the Week Honor, Kiah Williams shattered her personal best in the 400m, running a 51.55 to place second in the event as she currently holds the fifth-best performance in the nation.

UCF will be back in action this weekend in Coral Gables as it embarks on the Hurricane Alumni Invitational from April 5-6.