Knights Set For The American Championship

Championship Central

ORLANDO - The UCF cross country team is set to compete in the American Athletic Conference Championship Friday morning at Holloway Park in Lakeland, Florida.
The women's 6K race is slated for an 8:50 a.m. start on ESPN+.
The Knights are looking to build their success from the 2020 American Athletic Conference Championship that saw the Black and Gold place fifth and Valerie Lastra capture The American Freshman of the Year.
Lastra is one of four Knights bringing AAC Championship experience into the meet. Charlotte Crook, Alexandra Del Re and Mackenzie Czurak have each competed at a conference meet, while Kambry Smith, Isabella Babilonia, Mariana Rodriguez, Lillian Holtery and Rachel Wheatley will each make their AAC debuts on Friday.
Under the direction of Bryan Jackson, UCF has consistently improved its performances at the conference championship. Last year's fifth-place result was the best finish by the Black and Gold since 2016.
Lastra has paced the Knights this season, posting the highest finish by a Knight in each race in which she has competed, including top five finishes in the Mountain Dew Invitational and the UCF Invite. Smith has been right behind Lastra, turning in a sixth place finish at the home meet and finishing 11th at the Mountain Dew Invite.
The conference race also serves as the War on I-4 meeting between the Knights and South Florida. The Bulls currently hold a 9-6 edge in the overall rivalry series and six points are up for grabs at the cross country meet.