A First Team All-American long jumper. The two fastest 100M performances, including a sub-11 time. A new school 4×100 relay record.
And all of this was just in day one of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Junior Jen Clayton made history as the UCF track and field team’s highest finisher in a jumps event at the championships thanks to her third-place, wind-aided leap of 6.42m/21-00.75 (+3.3). She is just the second long jumper in school history to earn first team All-American laurels.
Meanwhile on the track, the 4×100 relay improved upon the school record set earlier this season and boasted two automatic qualifiers for Friday’s 100-meter finals.
Sophomore Octavious Freeman’s strong final leg of the 4×100 relay helped her team automatically qualify for Saturday’s finals. Alexis Faulknor, Aurieyall Scott, Afia Charles and Freeman edged SEC Championship runner-up LSU for the fastest time of the third heat (43.15) and were second only to Texas A&M for the day. The group now appears at No. 8 among all-time collegiate performers in the event.
The quartet aims to become UCF’s first team to medal in a relay event in program history.
Freeman and Scott set the 100M semifinals ablaze with the two-fastest qualifying times of the day thanks to their all-conditions personal bests.
Freeman jetted to her first sub-11 performance with a wind-aided 10.99 (+2.8) to edge defending NCAA champion English Gardner. Scott clinched her heat, as well, by besting Pac-12 champion Jenna Prandini of host Oregon in 11.00 (+2.6). UCF and Oregon are the only two programs in the country with multiple entries in the finals.
Running alongside SEC champion Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU in the 100M’s final heat, Faulknor fell short of qualifying for the finals by three-hundredths of a second but earned All-American Second Team distinction with her time of 11.37 (+2.3) for 14th place.
Sophomore Sandy Jean racked up All-American Second Team laurels in the 400 hurdles with her time of 58.38 to just miss out on the finals in 10th place.
Scott and Freeman will represent the Black and Gold in UCF’s only event Thursday, the 200 meters. They enter the race, which will air on ESPN3, as the top-two regional qualifiers looking to clinch their spot in Saturday’s final.
Visit UCFAthletics.com for a complete guide detailing how to follow the Knights at the NCAA Championships.
June 6 – ESPN3 (Watch)
(Top two of each heat plus next two best times overall advance to finals)