UCF Posts Runner-Up Finish in Gainesville


Photo Courtesy of Florida Athletics

The UCF cross country team continued its strong start to the season with a second-place team finish at the Mountain Dew Invitational on Saturday morning at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

"The women are really dialed in and raced very well today," UCF assistant coach Bryan Jackson said. "I'm proud of the approach they are taking towards both competitions and their training." 

Valerie Lastra made her season debut with another record-setting performance. Lastra finished fifth overall with a time of 14:19.4. The Miami native was in seventh at the 2K split, and moved up two spots to turn in a top five showing in her first race of the fall.
A trio of Knights joined Lastra in the top 20, including newcomer Kambry Smith. The Destin, Fla., native was the second Knight to cross the finish line, running 14:33.2 to place 11th.

"All the women had strong races, but Kambry Smith ran an especially gutsy race," Jackson said.

Charlotte Crook turned in a 14:39.5 to finish 15th in her season debut. Alexandra Del Re made her season debut with a 19th place finish in 14:52.6.
Isabella Babilonia rounded out UCF's top five with a 14:58.1 to finish 22nd  in her first race with the Black and Gold. She edged teammate Lillian Holtery, who finished 23rd in 14:59.3.
Three more Knights finished in the top 40 with Mackenzie Czurak placing 32rd in 15:19.1, Camryn Williams in 15:20.4 for 34th and Cydni Turner in 15:29.6 for 35th.
A pair of Knights turned in top 50 performances as Rachel Wheatley finished 41st in 15:45.2 and Paige Kelly finished 44th in 16:00.3. Brenna Mullaney finished 51st in 16:18.5; Mikaela Brown finished 65th in 16:56.3 and Megan Rhodes rounded out the Black and Gold competitors, finishing 83rd in 18:00.7.
UCF finished second as a team, coming in behind host Florida and ahead of Jacksonville.
The Black and Gold are back in action on Oct. 1, returning home to host the UCF Invite.
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