UCF Earns Win, Sets Record at UCF Invite


ORLANDO – Rainy weather did not deter the UCF cross country team from opening its season with a win and a freshman record at the UCF Invite on Saturday at the UCF Softball Complex.
"The goal was to make this the trial run for the conference meet and establish and dictate how the race was going to be run early," UCF assistant coach Bryan Jackson said. "They did that perfectly."
The Knights had six finishers in the top 10, leading to its second straight home meet win.
In her first official collegiate race, Valerie Lastra won the meet with a time of 17:43.6. Her mark broke Anne-Marie Blaney's freshman 5K record, set in 2012.
"My goal was to chase the golf cart, but I was mostly going for time and feel," said Lastra.
The Knights led the pack, finishing in the top three spots. Freshman Alexandra Del Re came in second at 18:16.9 and redshirt senior Victoria Jung was right behind her at 18:26.7. UCF had 10 in the top 25.
With the UCF Invite serving as the Knights' lone tune-up before the conference meet, Jackson is striving to carry over this pack mentality to find success in the championships.
"We want to get off the line and get established early up in a very competitive position," Jackson said. "If we do those things we are going to be successful."
UCF returns to action on February 6 for the American Athletic Conference Championship.
Team Results
1. UCF 21
2. South Florida 45
3. FGCU 69
UCF Finishers
1. Valerie Lastra 17:43.6
2. Alexandra Del Re 18:16.9
3. Victoria Jung 18:26.7
7. Mackenzie Czurak 19:00.1
8. Kaitlyn Soltis 19:04.4
9. Charlotte Crook 19:20.0
14. Katie Pinnell 20:23.8
19. Mikaela Brown 20:51.4
21. Cydni Turner 21:24.5
22. Brenna Mullaney 21:32.1
26. Megan Rhodes 22:13.0