Three Knights set to Embark on 2024 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Historic Hayward Field

by Alex Clough

EUGENE, Oregon – A trio of Knights, each with unique experiences on the national stage, are set to embark on the 2024 NCAA Outdoor Championships at the historic Hayward Field this week. 

Rayniah Jones and Asherah Collins will once again be representing the Knights in the season finale for the fourth consecutive season, while Kiah Williams will join the tandem for her second-straight appearance at Nationals.

While Jones and Williams will look to punch their ticket to the finals on Thursday evening, Collins will feature on both days, competing in the long jump during day two before looking to secure All-America honors once again in the triple jump on Saturday.

The top eight athletes in each event will garner first-team All-America honors, while those placing ninth to 16th will land on the second team. The remaining competitors in the field of 24 will secure an honorable mention.

Both slates will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.

Below is a breakdown of each Knight who will set forth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Track Town USA:

Rayniah Jones (100m Hurdles)

  • Thursday @ 9:32 p.m.ET / 6:32 p.m. PT – Semifinals (Top two each heat plus three best times)
  • Saturday @ 6:12 p.m. ET / 3:12 p.m. PT – Finals

A tenured athlete on stages such as this, Jones is back for her fourth and final time as a collegiate athlete. In 2024, her form has been strong, headlined by her Big 12 title in the 100m hurdles, becoming the first Knights to garner such an honor.

Four years ago, in her first appearance at the Outdoor National Championships, Jones was a runner-up. Since she has become one of the greatest athletes in UCF history and will look to tally her third career first-team All-America honor. 

At the East Prelims, Jones ran a 12.72 in the first round before eventually securing qualification in the quarterfinals with a 12.82. The eight-time All-American will be back at Hayward Field later this month for the United States Olympic Trials.

Outdoor results in the 100m Hurdles:

  • NCAA East Prelims: 12.72 (First Round/First) | 12.82 (Quarterfinals/Fifth)
  • Big 12 Outdoor Championships: 12.78 (First)
  • East Coast Relays: 12.77 (First)
  • Tom Jones Memorial: 12.96 (Prelims/Fifth) | 12.87 (Finals/Fourth)
  • Florida Relays: 13.09 (Prelims/Second) | 12.78 (Finals/Second)
  • Knights Invite: 13.09 (First)

Asherah Collins (Long Jump and Triple Jump)

  • Long Jump: Thursday @ 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
  • Triple Jump: Saturday @ 5:50 p.m. ET / 2:50 p.m. CT

Alongside Jones, Collins has consistently made the trip to Nationals while in Black and Gold. While she’ll once again be competing in the triple jump, this time around, she’ll also look to tally an All-America honor in the long jump. The Lake City, Florida, native became the first Knight to qualify for nationals in both events and has all the tools to continue her growth at Hayward Field this week.

At the NCAA East Prelims, Collins secured her highest finish in the triple jump, placing second with a season-best 13.44m mark. After a 10thplace finish and program-best 13.48m at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Championships, she’ll look to raise the bar in a stacked field.

Outdoor Results in the Long Jump and Triple Jump

NCAA East Prelims: LJ – 6.25m (Eighth) | TJ – 13.44m (Second)

Big 12 Outdoor Championships: LJ – 5.58m (20th) | TJ - 13.25m (Fourth)

East Coast Relays: TJ – 13.00m (Third)

Tom Jones Memorial: TJ – 13.30m (Sixth)

Florida Relays: LJ – 6.45m (Second) | TJ – 13.30m (Third)

Knights Invite: TJ – 13.01m (Second)

Black & Gold Invite: LJ – 6.31m (First) | TJ – 12.88m (Second)

Kiah Williams (400m)

  • Thursday @ 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT – Semifinals (Top two each heat plus three best times)
  • Saturday @ 6:32 p.m. ET / 3:32 p.m. PT – Finals

Williams enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2024 and has since qualified for her second-consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400m. From her outdoor opener in the event, she has consistently dropped her times. Her 51.32 at the Tom Jones Memorial puts her striking distance of the program record, currently held by Latasha Smith at 51.21.

At the team’s inaugural Big 12 Outdoor Championships, she placed fourth in a strong field and paired it with an impressive sixth-place finish in the 200m. Her versatility has been immense and after a 21stplace finish in 2023, Williams will strive for a second-team honor and more ahead of the United States Olympic Trials later this month.

Outdoor Results in the 400m

  • NCAA East Prelims: 51.62 (First Round/Seventh) | 51.49 (Quarterfinals/Eighth)
  • Big 12 Outdoor Championships: 51.74 (Fourth)
  • Tom Jones Memorial: 51.32 (Ninth)
  • Florida Relays: 51.55 (Second)
  • Knights Invite: 51.90 (First)