Cassels Farewell, Inclement Weather Highlight Day Two of Big 12 Outdoor Championship

by Alex Clough

WACO, Texas – While inclement weather would leave its mark upon day two of the 2024 Big 12 Outdoor Championship, multiple Knights prevailed and offered strong showing for the UCF track and field team ahead of Saturday's finale at the Clyde Hart Stadium.

Entering the afternoon eighth in the heptathlon, Natalia Madison started the day strong with a composed showing in the long jump. The junior matched her season-best mark of 5.86m on her final attempt, securing a fifth-place finish to remain within a scoring position. Holly Cassels moved up to 10th following an 11th-place outing with her 5.63m jump, tallying 738 points.

In the javelin throw, Madison set a season-best 26.40m mark, while Cassels’ 31.58m placed her in 11th and kept the senior within striking distance overall at 10th.

While Cassels would just miss out on a podium position, the senior gifted a remarkable farewell performance in the 800m. Crossing the line at 2:16.54, the time pushed the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, native to second place on the all-time heptathlon charts, tallying 5,252 points in her final meet in Black and Gold.

The showing serves as a culmination of the continued progress that Cassels has shown through her hard work and dedication both on the track and as an inaugural member of the team. Entering the 2024 campaign the senior’s personal record sat at 5,102, as she would eventually best that performance earlier this season in Miami (5,185). Now in Waco, her name will long live on in the record books after a fitting farewell to her time in Orlando.

Final Heptathlon Standings

10. Holly Cassels (5,252 Points)

14. Natalia Madison (4,364 Points)

In yet another unforeseen turn in this weekend’s championship, yet another weather delay postponed the competition for six hours. While Leiya Green and Alexis Waller were through two jumps, their final attempt wouldn’t occur until 12:00 a.m. ET.

Minutes before the resumption in the pit, the Big 12 Conference, in accordance with Baylor Athletics, announced that all preliminary rounds for track events (100m hurdles, 100m, 400m and 800m) will be canceled and contested as timed finals tomorrow (all heats). 

Asherah Collins would lead the Knights’ trio in the long jump with her 5.58m mark in 18th place. Green followed closely behind in 19th (5.50m), while Waller rounded out the field in 23rd(5.28m).

In the final event of another long night in Waco, Brenna Mullaney crossed the line in the 3000m steeplechase at 11:02.21 to place 16th.

Barring continued weather scares, UCF will be in for an action-packed Saturday slate to conclude the Big 12 Outdoor Championship, as six finals are scheduled to run. Saturday’s schedule has yet to be announced.