Everything You Need To Know About the 2023 UCF Knights Track and Field Team – Black and Gold Banneret

Everything You Need To Know About the 2023 UCF Knights Track and Field Team  Black and Gold Banneret

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The Knights set out to repeat both their Indoor and Outdoor titles in their final AAC season

NCAA Track and Field: NCAA Indoor Championships

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the UCF Knights’ Track and Field team proved it was more than just the Rayniah Jones Show as multiple long-lasting program records fell, the team took home not one, but two AAC titles, and even more athletes joined Jones in Tracktown, USA for the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championship.

Now, the Knights have just one opportunity to defend those AAC titles as they enter their final year in the conference.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Knights for their 2023 Indoor and Outdoor campaigns:

Indoor and Outdoor AAC Champions

For the first time since 2013, the Knights took home the conference championship in both the Indoor and Outdoor seasons, setting conference records in points along the way. It was the team’s 1st Outdoor AAC title and 2nd Indoor AAC title.

Over the course of the season, new school records were set in eight different events across the indoor and outdoor competitions.

Knights athletes made it back to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships for the first time since 2017, while the NCAA Outdoor Championships had the most Knights athletes it’s had since 2014.

The USTFCCCA does not release rankings until after the season begins. Regardless of that, however, the Knights now have to defend their back-to-back indoor and outdoor conference titles in their final seasons in The American.

With many staple athletes from last season’s group returning, the Knights look like threats to repeat.

Dana Boone- 5th season

At the head of the reigning AAC Indoor and Outdoor Coaching Staff of the Year is 5th-year head coach Dana Boone. In her first four seasons, no UCF Track and Field team under her finished higher than 5th in a conference meet. Then, it all came together in 2022.

While this season will still return individual athletes that made deep runs in 2022, Coach Boone will have to plug a few holes in her relay teams.

Watch our preview video with Coach Boone here:

Rayniah Jones

Does she even need an introduction anymore?

Rayniah Jones took the UCF community by storm back in Spring 2021 and now she is back (with a new style) to try and qualify for her 4th and 5th NCAA Track and Field Championships.

In 2022, she qualified to go to Tracktown, USA for the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles for the Indoor Season and in the 100-meter hurdles and as a member of the 4×100-meter relay team in the Outdoor season.

From a program history perspective, she set a new program 60-meter hurdles record last year and still holds the 100-meter hurdle record from back in 2021.

Latasha Smith

Sometimes, the timing just does not work out.

Despite setting new program records in both the Indoor and Outdoor 400-meter sprints and being a part of the 4×400-relay team that set a new program record, Boone said three different runners on the 4×400-relay team came down with illnesses before the NCAA East Preliminary. This development ended Smith’s Outdoor NCAA run before it started, leaving just her Indoor Championship appearance in the 400-meter sprint, where she finished 14th.

However, this is still the same Latasha Smith that did all those things back for another season.

Asherah Collins

Rayniah Jones was not the only one that made their 2nd NCAA Outdoor Championship last season. Asherah Collins once again qualified for the Triple Jump and improved from a 23rd-place finish in 2021 to a 17th-place finish in 2022.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully her having her breakout year, ‘cause she’s been kinda teetering on there, but I really feel like she can make that transition this year to becoming an elite jumper because she has all the tools necessary to do that,” Boone said.

Natalia Madison

The 2022 season was a renaissance for the UCF Track and Field Multis.

Contributing to that was Palm Beach Gardens native Natalia Madison, who enters her sophomore season already with the 3rd-best Heptathlon mark in program history under her belt.

She follows in the footsteps of what was probably the program’s biggest offseason loss.

Brittany Floyd

The 2010s decade had come and gone, but no UCF Track and Field Multi athlete was able to take down the program’s pentathlon and heptathlon records. Then, in 2022, in came a transfer from UAB.

Boone said Brittany Floyd raised the standard for the Multis.

Not only was she breaking the overall pentathlon and heptathlon records, her fellow Multis that she trained with, Madison and Holly Cassels, broke the program’s freshman heptathlon and pentathlon records respectively.

“She only had that one year, but boy did she make an impact,” Boone said.

Isabella Richardson

Noah Goldberg

She already made her mark on the Cross Country program by racing the 4th-fastest 5K in its history this fall. Now, on the track, distance-running coach Bryan Jackson said that Richardson, a New Zealand native, can establish herself as one of UCF’s best distance runners since Anne-Marie Blaney.

Before coming stateside, Richardson got experience running 800 meters, 1500 meters, a mile, 3,000 meters, and 5,000-meter events. Her current personal best in the outdoor 3,000 meters (9:53.42), would lower the UCF program record in the event by about seven seconds.

  • 9 Freshman
  • 16 Sophomores
  • 11 Juniors
  • 6 seniors
  • 29 Floridians
  • 7 International Athletes

2023 UCF Track and Field Roster

Name Event Group Year Hometown 2022 School 2022 Achievements (Postseason or Record Broken)
Name Event Group Year Hometown 2022 School 2022 Achievements (Postseason or Record Broken)
Adrienne Adams Throws Jr. Portmore, Jamaica UCF NCAA Championships: Outdoor Discus Throw
Paige Archer Sprints Fr. Nasau, Bahamas Queen’s College
Tamia Badal Hurdles Jr. Tomball, Texas UCF
Andrea Ballestero Distance Fr. Clearwater, Fla. Osceola HS
Samieryah Bradwell Sprints Sr. Tallahassee, Fla. UCF Part of 4×400-relay team that broke program record
Holly Cassels Multis So. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. UCF Broke Freshman Pentathlon record
Alicia Coleman Hurdles So. Riviera Beach, Fla. UCF
Asherah Collins Jumps So. Lake City, Fla. UCF NCAA Championships: Outdoor Long Jump
Charlotte Crook Distance Sr. Preston, England UCF Broke Outdoor 1500-meter run record
Mackenzie Czurak Distance So. Winter Springs, Fla. UCF
Beyonce Defreitas Sprints Jr. British Virgin Islands UCF NCAA Championship: Outdoor 4×100-meter relay
Alexandra Del Re Distance So. Tequesta, Fla. UCF
Ashlyn Green Throws So. DeBary, Fla. UCF
Leiya Green Jumps So. Jacksonville, Fla. UCF Tied Freshman Indoor Long Jump Record
Kaylor Harris Hurdles Sr. Mesquite, Texas UCF
Chloe Hill Throws Jr. Niceville, Fla. UCF
Lillian Holtery Distance So. Niceville, Fla. UCF
Kendall Hughes Distance Fr. Brandon, Fla. Newsome HS
Janyah Jasper Sprints Jr. Dallas, Texas Colorado State
Paige Jaszczak Distance Fr. Mims, Fla. Titusville HS
Riley Jaszczak Distance Fr. Mims, Fla. Titusville HS
Kaliah Jones Jumps Jr. Kingston, Jamaica UCF
Rayniah Jones Hurdles Jr. Miami, Fla. UCF NCAA Championships: 60-meter hurdles, 60-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, 4×100 Relay
Paige Kelly Distance So. Niceville, Fla. UCF
Kai’lyn Kirkland Sprints So. Jacksonville, Fla. UCF
Daija Lampkin Sprints Sr. Middletown, DE Alabama
Sofia Lantz Distance Fr. Lake Mary, Fla. Lake Mary HS
Natalia Madison Multis So. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. UCF Broke Freshman Heptathlon Record
Brenna Mullaney Distance So. Severna Park, Md. UCF
Katie Pinnell Distance Sr. Coconut Creek, Fla. UCF
Zoe Pustilnik Distance Fr. Delray Beach, Fla. Spanish River HS
Isabella Richardson Distance Fr. Auckland, New Zealand St. Cuthbert’s College
Mariana Rodriguez Distance Jr. San Antonio, Texas UCF
Jasmine Scott-Kilgo Jumps/Hurdles Sr. Windsor, Ontario UCF
Latasha Smith Sprints Jr. West Palm Beach, Fla. UCF Broke Indoor and Outdoor 400-meter records, Part of Outdoor 4X400-relay record
Penelope Sosa Distance Fr. Miami, Fla. Miami Coral Park HS
Ani Wells Sprints Jr. Tampa, Fla. UCF
Rachel Wheatley Distance So. Port Orange, Fla. UCF
Nicole Whitaker Throws Jr. Delray Beach, Fla. UCF
Camryn Williams Distance So. Keystone Heights, Fla. UCF
Kiah Williams Sprints So. Hallandale, Fla. UCF Part of 4×400-relay team that broke program record
I’Asia Wilson Sprints So. Lakeland, Fla UCF NCAA Championship: Outdoor 4×100-meter relay

During the Indoor season, the Knights will compete in three different events in Gainesville. Though, they will get a preview of one of their future conference mates as the sprinters travel to Lubbock, Texas for the Red Raider Open.

2023 UCF Indoor Track and Field Schedule

Date Event Location Host Event Groups Competing
Date Event Location Host Event Groups Competing
Jan. 13 Jimmy Carnes Invitational Gainesville, FL Florida All
Jan 20-21 Vanderbilt Invitational Nashville, TN Vanderbilt All but Sprinters
Jan. 20 Red Raider Open Lubbock, TX Texas Tech Sprinters
Jan 26-27 Alachua County Collegiate Invite Gainesville, FL Florida All
Feb 2-3 Celebration Point Indoor Classic Gainesville, FL Florida All but Multis
Feb 3 Crimson Elite Invitational Cambridge, MA Harvard Multis
Feb 10-11 Tiger Paw Invitational Clemson, SC Clemson All but Distance
Feb 10-11 Valentine Invitational Boston, MA Boston U Distance
Feb 24-25 AAC Conference Meet Birmingham, AL The American All
Mar 10-11 NCAA Indoor Championships Albuquerque, NM New Mexico Qualified Athletes

During the Outdoor season, the team will only be leaving the state of Florida twice. Once in late April for the Georgia Tech Invitational and LSU Alumni Gold and potentially again in June should any athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.

2023 UCF Outdoor Track and Field Schedule

Date Event Location Host Event Groups Competing
Date Event Location Host Event Groups Competing
Mar. 17-18 Black and Gold Invitational Orlando, FL UCF All
Mar 24-25 Knights Invite Orlando, FL UCF All
Mar 31-Apr 1 Florida Relays Gainesville, FL Florida All
Apr 7-8 Miami Alumni Invite Coral Gables, FL Miami (FL) Multis
Apr 14-15 Tom Jones Invitational Gainesville, FL Florida All
Apr 21-22 Georgia Tech Invitational Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech Distance
Apr 22 LSU Alumni Gold Baton Rouge, LA LSU All but Distance
Apr 28-29 UNF Invitational Jacksonville, FL North Florida All
May 12-14 AAC Outdoor Championship Tampa, FL South Florida All
May 25-27 NCAA East Preliminary Jacksonville, FL North Florida Qualified Athletes
Jun 8-10 NCAA Outdoor Championships Austin, TX Texas Qualified Athletes

UCF had a distance runner in an NCAA Championship: 2017. No distance runner since Anne-Marie Blaney in the 2017 Indoor Championship has made it to an NCAA Track and Field Championship.

UCF had an event national champion: 2013. Rayniah Jones qualified for the 60-meter hurdle final in last season’s Indoor Championship and the 100-meter hurdle final in the Outdoor Championship twice. She seems to be the most likely candidate from an individual athlete perspective to become the first Knight to win a national championship since Aurieyall Scott’s Indoor in the 60-meter dash title in 2013.