On this special edition Knight Cap, the final one for the 2022-23 athletic year, the season comes to a close for all but one of the UCF Knights’ programs.
Plus, we name the Knight of the Month and Knights Play of the Month in your Knight Cap for Friday, June 2, 2023.
UCF Track and Field Advances Seven Entries to NCAA Outdoor Championships
The UCF Track and Field team earned seven entries in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with their performance in the NCAA East Preliminary in Jacksonville last weekend.
The group will travel out to Austin, Texas for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on June 7-10.
It will be the most entries the Knights have sent to the national championships since 2013 when they punched eight tickets to the championship.
Junior Rayniah Jones will return to the Championships for the third consecutive time in the 100-meter hurdles, but it will be the first time she also qualified for the 100-meter dash.
Jones will be joined in the 100-meter hurdles in Austin, Texas by senior Kaylor Harris. It will be the first time in program history that two Knights made it to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the event.
Two more @UCF_Track athletes have punched their tickets to Austin. #UCF #GKCO #ChargeOn— Bryson Turner (@itsBrysonTurner) May 27, 2023
While not finishing in the Top 3 of their heats, @RayniahJones and Kaylor Harris (@Kaylorkianna_) both advanced by running the next 3 fastest times. pic.twitter.com/NWnkk5Qvjz
Jones also teamed up with senior Daija Lampkin, junior Beyonce Defreitas, and sophomore I’Asia Wilson to take the 4-100-meter relay team back to national championships for a second consecutive season.
Jones is not the only one heading back to the national championships for a third straight time. Thanks to breaking her own program record, sophomore Asherah Collins advanced to Austin, Texas in the Triple Jump with a 13.19-meter best jump.
More program history got made when junior Kiah Williams became the first athlete in program history to qualify for the Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter dash. Her 52.66-second time was one of the next three fastest times after the Top 3 in each heat.
Finally, senior Jasmine Scott-Kilgo will get to make her first trip to the national championships thanks to a 6.19-meter best jump in the long jump on Thursday.
For the full results of the NCAA East Preliminary, visit flashresults.com.
Three UCF Tennis Players Compete in NCAA Championships in Lake Nona
Players from both the UCF Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams finished off their seasons on their home courts this month as the NCAA Tennis world descended on the USTA National Campus for its multiple championships.
On the men’s side, senior Bogdan Pavel competed in the NCAA Men’s Doubles Championship for the third time in his career. However, it was the first time he did so alongside fellow senior Lleyton Cronje as his partner.
The duo made it to the round of 16 by edging out North Carolina’s Casey Kania and Ryan Seggerman 7-6(5), 7-6(4). It is Pavel’s second time making it to the Round of 16 in the tournament after the 2021 season.
However, the Knights were the ones edged out in the round of 16 with Michigan’s Andrew Fenty and Gavin Young taking a 7-5, 7-6(1) victory.
That'll do it for Marie at the NCAA Singles Championship.— UCF Women's Tennis (@UCF_WTennis) May 22, 2023
She falls 6-4, 6-4 to No. 15 Lee.
As for the women’s team, senior Marie Mattel saw 2022 repeat itself as she was eliminated in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Tournament’s first round. She ended up losing to Georgia Tech’s #15-ranked Carol Lee 6-4, 6-4.
It was Mattel’s second loss to Lee this month, as she also played against Lee in the UCF Women’s Tennis team’s NCAA opening round loss to Georgia Tech on May 5, losing 6-4, 6-3.
Rowing Podiums in Final AAC Championship
The UCF Rowing team podiumed in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in its final American Athletic Conference Championship on May 14.
The Knights took home the bronze with 112 points, coming 28 points behind second-place Tulsa and 56 points behind conference-champion SMU.
The Varsity 4 boat had the team’s highest finish, coming in second to SMU by just under nine seconds.
The Knights had one selection to the First-Team All-Conference in junior Emma Leavens and two Second-Team All-Conference selections in fifth-years Anna Kayser Gallego and Emily Puia.
With the podium finish, the Knights have placed on the podium in every single AAC Rowing Championship they competed in, from 2015-2023.
Season and Collegiate Career Ends at Regional For Two Men’s Golfers
A pair of UCF Men’s Golf players wrapped up their college careers on May 17 in the NCAA Salem Regional in Salem, South Carolina.
Fifth-year senior Luis Carrera marched up the leaderboard in the final round to finish tied for 27th overall with a 211 (5-under).
Meanwhile, fellow fifth-year Johnny Travale came in tied for 48th overall at 215 (1-under).
Either Knight had to be the low individual not on an advancing team to make it to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, which ended up being Furman’s Sam Lape at 201 (15-under).
Knight of the Month
Rayniah Jones, Track and Field
Not since J’Nea Bellamy in 2015 has a UCF Track and Field athlete made it to an NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championship in three events.
This season, Rayniah Jones did just that: the 100-meter hurdles, the 100-meter dash, and a member of the 4x100-meter relay team.
Though, she did qualify in the 100-meter dash by the slimmest of margins.
Since Jones did not finish in the Top 3 of her heat in the 100-meter dash, she needed to run one of the next three fastest times to advance. On Saturday, Jones and Liberty’s Isis Brooks tied for the third next-fastest time at 11.221 seconds.
However, Jones ended up taking the final qualifying spot thanks to her faster 1st-round time in Thursday’s first round. Jones ran an 11.27-second time while Brooks ran an 11.29-second time.