UCF Breaks Records, Wins Three Events in Houston


HOUSTON - The UCF track and field team made the most of its return to the H-Town Speed City Series, breaking a pair of freshmen records, winning a trio of event titles and collecting personal bests by the event on Saturday.
Just one week after being named the American Athletic Conference Cross Country Freshman of the Year, Valerie Lastra opened her indoor freshman season with a record-breaking mile run. Lastra ran a 4:51.75 to place second overall. With just three appearances in 2021, the Miami native has bested a trio of Anne-Marie Blaney's rookie records.
The Knights added a second freshman record to their accolade list on Saturday as Asherah Collins left her mark the triple jump. With her third jump of the day, Collins landed at 41-7.5/12.69m to place second overall. She not only broke the rookie record of 40-2 set by teammate Kiara Lee (2020) and LaTrica Firby (2000), but her mark puts her third on UCF's top 10 performers list.
Once again, the Knights closed out the H-Town SpeedCity Series with a victory in the 4x4. Danielle Bess, Kiah Williams, Kai'lyn Kirkland and Latasha Smith captured the title for the second meet in a row, improving their winning time to 3:44.46.
Latasha Smith added a second title as an individual, leading a trio of Knights in the top 10 of the 400-meter dash. Smith collected the title with a personal best 55.19. Rookie Kai'lyn Kirkland also improved her mark in the event, running 56.50 to finish eighth. Kiah Williams crossed the line just behind her teammate at 57.11.
Selena Wright collected the top honors in the 60-meter hurdles with a personal best 8.28. Rayniah Jones joined her in the top three with an personal best 8.33 performance.
Charlotte Crook used a personal best 4:56.90 to join Lastra in the top five in the mile. Lastra became the second-fastest on the UCF all-time indoor performers list, while Crook's mark puts her fourth.   
UCF advanced four Knights to the 60-meter dash finals. Danielle Bess led the way with a fourth place finish in 7.55. She was followed by Beyonce Defreitas in fifth and Ciara Holback in sixth. Rayniah Jones finished eighth. Defreitas also finished in the top five in the 200-meter dash.
In her indoor collegiate debut, Alexandra Del Re took fourth in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:05.70. The mark ranks Del Re seventh on UCF indoor performers list. Katie Pinnell paced a trio of top eight finishers in the 800-meter run as she crossed the line in a personal-best 2:09.76 to finish third.
Kaliah Jones added a podium finish for the Knights in the high jump as she finished third at 5-4.25/1.63m.  
A personal best performance from Chloe Hill led to a fourth-place finish in the weight throw at 54-9.25/16.69m.
Kiara Lee set a new personal record in the long jump, finishing fifth with a mark of 18-5.75/5.63m to place fifth. Leiya Green kept the personal records rolling, placing sixth with a jump of 18-5.25/5.62m.
In the team standings, UCF improved from its previous showing in Houston. The Knights were narrowly edged by 4.5 points, 151.5-147, to finish second to Cincinnati.
UCF Results
60m – Prelims
3. Danielle Bess 7.50Q
4. Beyonce Defreitas 7.63Q
6. Ciara Holback 7.59q
7. Rayniah Jones 7.65q
60m – Finals
4. Danielle Bess 7.55
5. Beyonce Defreitas 7.63
6. Ciara Holback 7.65
8. Rayniah Jones 7.71
5. Beyonce Defreitas 24.76
8. Ciara Holback 24.93
1. Latasha Smith 55.19
8. Kai'lyn Kirkland 56.50
9. Kiah Williams 57.11
11. Samieryah Bradwell 57.76
3. Katie Pinnell 2:09.76
5. Jadae Barrett 2:15.45
7. Mariana Rodriguez 2:18.75
2. Valerie Lastra 4:51.75
5. Charlotte Crook 4:56.90
8. Kaitlyn Soltis 5:09.73
10. Mackenzie Czurak 5:10.73
4. Alexandra Del Re 10:07.52
60H – Prelims
2. Selena Wright 8.37Q
4. Rayniah Jones 8.39q
8. Alicia Coleman 8.79q
16. Kennedie Reese 9.14
60H – Finals
1. Selena Wright 8.28
3. Rayniah Jones 8.33
8. Alicia Coleman 8.96
1. Bess, Williams, Kirkland, Smith 3:44.46
5. Wright, Bradwell, Coleman, Barrett 3:50.52
7. Pinnell, Crook, Soltis, Rodriguez 3:58.06
High Jump
3. Kaliah Jones 5-4.25/1.63m
8. Holly Cassels 5-0.25/1.53m
Long Jump
5. Kiara Lee 18-5.75/5.63m
6. Leiya Green 18-5.25/5.62m
14. Holly Cassels 17-0/5.18m
Triple Jump
2. Asherah Collins 41-7.75/12.69m
4. Kiara Lee 40-9.75/12.44m
Weight Throw
4. Chloe Hill 54-9.25/16.69m
10. Adrienne Adams 48-4.75/14.75m
Team Results
1. Cincinnati 151.5
2. UCF 147
3. Houston 108.50
4. Temple 55.50
6. Tulane 44.5
5. SMU 43
7. South Florida 41.5
8. Stephen F. Austin 31.50
9. Sam Houston 16