No. 16 Track and Field Concludes Eventful Weekend at Tom Jones Memorial

by Alex Clough

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In an eventual Saturday slate, the No. 16 UCF track and field team saw multiple performances to be proud of at the Tom Jones Memorial. Led by a first-place finish and multiple personal bests, the Knights continue to show out heading into the back stretch of the regular season.

There were some good things that happened this weekend so I was pleased with those efforts. This is still early in the season and we have some time to put some more things together. Looking forward to getting back to training this week.

Head coach Dana Boone

In what seems like a given, Y’Vette Harris impressed once again on the track this weekend, securing two personal bests in the hurdles on back-to-back outings. The freshman, less than 24 hours after a strong 1:00.13 in the 400m hurdles, replicated her prowess in the 100m hurdles.

Competing in heat one, the Stockton, California, native set the standard that wouldn’t be met by rest, clocking a 13.41 to claim first. The performance breaks Harris into the all-time lists, as she currently holds a share for 10th with Mica Wimberly. Harris’ versatility continues to provide the squad with depth across the board, as last weekend she secured the sixth-best heptathlon performance in program history with 5,076 points.

Kai’lyn Kirkland (55.95) and Brianna Rodriguez (57.14) would secure top-20 finishes in the 400m, the day's first spring events. In the triple jump, Natalia Madison would lead the way for the Knights with her 12.17m mark and 13th-place finish. Her multis counterpart, competing in the high jump, placed 15th with a 1.63m height.

In the invite portion of the 100m hurdles, Rayniah Jones qualified for the finals with a composed sub-13 second showing, clocking a 12.96 to finish fourth in the first round. The All-American immediately transitioned into the 4x100m relay, as alongside Ani Wells, Paige Archer, and I’Asia Wilson, the quartet ran a season-best 43.92, the tenth-best time overall and eighth-fastest collegiately.

An hour later, Jones would defend her spot in fourth following a 12.87 in the 100m hurdles invite finals, her second-best time of the season.

Currently in the best form of her collegiate career, Kiah Williams dropped her 400m-best once again this afternoon, running a 51.32 to claim ninth in a stacked field. After garnering her first All-America nod a season ago, the Hallandale, Florida, native clocked a debut 51.90 at the Knights Invite, following it up with a 51.55 at the Florida Relays a week later and now sits just over a tenth of a second of the program record (51.21).

A trio of Knights hit the blocks for the 100m, with I’Asia Wilson’s 11.41 leading the way for the Black and Gold in 13th. In the triple jump invite, Asherah Collins matched her season-best, placing sixth with her 13.30m performance, just .04m shy of her program record.