With 10 races over two days, the 36th Annual Spanish River Invitational was one of the largest meets in South Florida history!
Articles with Natalie Varela
Friday afternoon marked this year's Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Cross Country Championship where a couple of teams continued to show their dominance, while a couple of individuals got to bring home their first individual county crowns.
We look at the top girls boys returners in every event.
Check out our region by region virtual meets.
We take a look at the 500 fastest returners in the girls 1,600m run.
Eddie Romero recaps 2A Region 4 from Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek.
We preview all of the action from the South Florida triple regional at Tradewinds Park.
We take a look at the 500 fastest girls all-time at the FLYRA Middle School Cross Country Championships.
We rank the 500 best girls performances of the week.
See who are virtual meet predicts will conquer the course and end up with the crowns.
We rank the 500 fastest sophomore girls so far in the 2017 season.
We used our compare athletes feature to break down each athlete and head to head battles as they prepare for another marquee match up.
Let us know which girl you think had the best performance in week one.
Two of the top sophomores in the country Natalie Varela and Tsion Yared went head to head at the Under The Lights/Twilight Kickoff in South Florida.
We merged the results from across the state and ranked the 500 best boys performances from the week.
The 2017 cross country season kicked off in north Miami yesterday at the first ever Under the Lights/Twilight kickoff at St. Thomas University.
South Florida Harriers will start the 2017 cross country season on Friday night at the Under The Lights/Twilight Kickoff hosted by Ferguson High School.
Of the seven meets Gulliver Prep's Natalie Varela competed in she won five, was runner-up at the FLRunners.com Invitational Race of Champions, and 4th at the 2A Cross Country Finals.
We rank the 100 fastest girls in the class of 2020.
We take a look at the top 100 2A girls heading into the 2017 season.
The 2A Region 4 Championship began it's two day format with some very impressive 3,200m runs.
Which girl do you think had the best performance of the week?
Natalie Varela gives us in an inside look at her 2017 season so far.
Watch Gulliver Prep freshman Natalie Varela lead a total of five girls to sub five minute 1,600m times in the invitational race at the 2017 Florida Relays plus all race videos and interviews.
Gulliver Prep freshman Natalie Varela is slowly figuring out that she's in a league of her own in distance events in Florida
The first OFFICIAL weekend of the track and field season kicks off Friday & Saturday with meets from South Florida to the Panhandle and everywhere in between. We have already seen amazing performances across the state. See who has the top spots... for now. What does it take to be number one? Check out our girls and boys leaderboard.
Gulliver Prep freshman Natalie Varela is no stranger to success. As an 8th grader she won the FLYRA Middle School State Championship in both the 800 and 1,500m and was the 2A runner-up behind Caitlin Collier in both the 1,600 and 3,200m. On the cross country course she was 4th at the state meet and ran a personal best of 17:46.53 at the Flrunners.com Invitational Race of Champions. Jesus Batista caught up with her to talk about her plans for the 2017 track season.
One of the best 3,200m races all year had to be the for the 4A state championship. Kayley Delay, Rafaella Gibbons, Bailey Hertenstein all head to head for eight laps. The result three times under 10:45 including Delays state leading 10:30.30, a race one college coach in attendance said was the best he'd seen in a long time. Take a look at the top 100 girls returners in the 3,200m for the 2017 season.
Ft. Myers senior Krissy Gear is one of the top uncommitted distance runners in the state of Florida. Gear is the defending 3A state champion in the 1,600m and comes into 2017 with the third fastest returning time of 4:57.01 from her runner-up performance at the FSU Relays. Five girls have run under the five minute barrier. Will that change this season? We take a look at the top 100 returners.
The moment you have all been waiting for. With the 2016 cross country season over and the year coming to a close we announce the last installment of our All Flrunners.com Cross Country Team, our first team girls selections. Congratulations to all those selected and the whole running community for making this season such a success!
Freshmen Elayna Bahr and Ashley Klingenberg are in a loaded 4A classification, but don't be fooled, the youngsters will be two of the ones to watch in 2017.
Ask anyone in South Florida what the most well known course in their area is and they will tell you Larry & Penny Thompson Park simply shortened down to Larry & Penny. The venue in Miami hosts over a dozen events each year. Only 12 girls have ever broke 19 minutes on the challenging course. We look at the top of 2016 and the 500 best all-time.
Lake Minneola's Ellie Kunze (far right) along with Ashley Klingenberg (#499), and Rylee Pustilnik (#1190) are three of the top freshmen in the state of Florida. Four members of the class of 2020 have broke 18 minutes including Tsion Yared who recently qualified for Nike Nationals with a time of 17:42.40, Natalie Varela (17:46.53, Alyson Churchill (17:55.20), and Elayna Bahr (17:59.30). We rank the top 500 girls times for the freshmen class.
Nearly 500 girls in the state of Florida ran a 5k in less than 21 minutes this fall. Melbourne Central Catholic senior and Duke signee Amanda Beach headlines the group with a state leading time of 17:31.10, one of eight girls under 18 minutes. We rank the top 5,000 girls 5k performances for the 2016 cross country season.
As part of our Saucony Flo 50 rankings series, we take a look at the top 25 boys and girls individuals as well as the top 25 boys and girls teams and rank them. Here are the top girls individuals after the cross country state championship.
If the 2016 Cross Country Finals was any indication the talent in Florida will be around for years to come. Freshmen girls excelled at all four classifications including an individual state championship in 3A from Lincoln's Alyson Churchill and 2A runner-up Tsion Yared who both set PR's under 18 minutes. A total of 12 girls including Creekside's Claire Openshaw (pictured above) went under 19 minutes. Take a look at the best performances from the class of 2020 girls.
Riverview junior Bailey Hertenstein defended her 4A Cross Country Finals championship with the fastest time of the day of 17:40.36. A total of four girls broke 18 minutes including 2A state champion Caitlin Collier (17:44.20), 3A state champion Alyson Churchill (17:55.22), and 2A runner-up Tsion Yared (17:59.49). We merged the results of all four classifications to find out the top 500 girls times and who won the week.
2A was one of the most exciting classifications of the day. On the girl's side Caitlin Collier revenged her heartbreaking loss from 2015 while the Pine Crest girls finally defeated Bolles after four years in a row as the runner-up. On the boy's side, Caleb Pottorff and Charles Hicks battled it out for 5,000 meters with Pottorff winning his first XC title. The team trophy came down to the narrowest margin as Trinity Prep took their fourth straight 2A crown. Andy Warrener recaps all of the 2A races.
Lincoln's freshman Alyson Churchill vs Valerie Lastra of Mater Academy is one of the top matches in 3A. We take a look at the eleven best head to head battles on individuals and team front for the 2016 cross country state finals.
Across the board 2A might be the most competitive classification. On the girl's individual front, three of the top five runners in the whole state, Natalie Varela, Amanda Beach and Tsion Yared go head to head with 2015 runner-up Caitlin Collier. Yared's Pine Crest Panthers look to end the four year title streak by Collier and the Bolles Bulldogs. Speaking of streaks, the Trinity Prep boys have won four in a row and are looking to make it five, but Coach Butler one of the winningest coaches in state history and his Satellite Scorpions have other plans. We preview the class 2A state meet.
There were plenty of chances to run fast in October with Championship season all month long. Here are the top 500 boys and girls times for the month headlined by Riverview junior Bailey Hertenstein and Creekside senior Matthew Clark. Hertenstein set her state leading mark at the flrunners.com Invitational Race of Champions on October 1st with her time of 17:32.14, while Clark also wasted no time running his FL#1 time of 15:14.40 at Great American in North Carolina on the 1st of the month as well.
Harmony sophomore Vanessa Bolen has won four out of her six races this season and finished fourth or better in the other two. This past weekend she repeated as the 3A District 8 Champion setting a new personal best time of 18:57.50, her first sub 19 mark, which was good enough to put her as the 43rd best time in her top 5,000 girls 5k times of the season.
Ponte Vedra junior Claire Mortiz helped the Sharks take a bite out of the competition and win 3A District 4. Moritz was one of three runners on the day to run under 19 minutes (18:26.70) joining Lauren Stanford (18:34.50), and Creekside's Claire Openshaw (18:47.10). A total of 16 girls broke 19 during districts. On the boy's side, six guys broke 16 minutes led by state leader Matthew Clark of Creekside who won 3A-4 in 15:43.64. We take a look at the top 500 times state wide for class 3A to see who won the week.
Records are meant to be broken. Just ask Mater Academy freshman Valerie Lastra who took down Stephanie Schappert's mark at Larry & Penny Thompson Park in Miami running a very impressive time of 18:17.60 to win the 3A District 16 title.
So here we are less than a week before district at Larry & Penny park. I had pretty much planned to go easy, get a win and conserve energy for what promises to be the toughest region in the states. No such luck. I happened to catch the 305 Classic there last Thursday. I've been avoiding this park all year.
Liberty Pigg might just be the next big star to come out of Fletcher High School in North Florida. The freshman owns a PR of 19:58.65 from the UNF XC Invitational where she finished 6th and is ranked 121st in the state regardless of class. To show the true depth of our MileSplit database we ranked the top 5,000 girls 5k times so far this season.
As part of our Saucony Flo 50 rankings series, every week we will subjectively rank the top 25 boys and girls individuals as well as the top 25 boys and girls teams. Take a look at the top girls individuals halfway into the cross country season.
Belen Jesuit junior Joshua Collins and Gulliver Prep freshman Natalie Varela set new personal bests at the flrunners.com Invitational 17, crossing the finish line in 3rd and 2nd place with times of 15:41.72 and 17:46.53. Our South Florida correspondent Eddie Romero takes a look at the five fastest performances from the region for week six.
Freshmen Valerie Lastra and Ali Del Re battle it out at Flrunners.com Invitational 17 during the Race of Champions which saw the class of 2020 take four of the top six spots. Gulliver Prep's Natalie Varela and Pine Crest's Tsion Yared ran the 2nd and 4th fastest times of 17:46.53 and 17:52.84 respectively, while Lastra and Del Re finished 5th and 6th in the race crossing the line in 18:00.64 and 18:04.38. We look at the top 500 times by freshmen girls this season.
So my streak ended. I went into the Flrunners Race of Champions 3 for 3, but ran into a hurricane named Bailey. To be honest no mater all I heard or read,I thought I would go in and shock everyone.I was on a roll momentum wise ,and full of confidence. I had a good week of practice and a good game plan.
Riverview junior Bailey Hertenstein defended her Flrunners.com Invitational in a new state leading time of 17:32.14. The top five times in the race were at 18 minutes or under. We merged the results of EVERY meet featuring Florida athletes this week to find out the top 500 times and who won the week.
Riverview junior Bailey "Hurricane" Hertenstein defends her flrunners.com Invitational Race of Champions title with a a time of 17:32.14 while leading four other girls to times at 18:00 or lower.
So it's a couple of days out from the Race of Champions and I can't wait to see how I stack up against the top runners in the state.
If there is one particular race I am looking forward to the most at this year's flrunners.com Invitational 17 it's the girls Race of Champions. The field includes ten of the top fifteen girls in the state, plus two of the top teams in 2014 and 2015 4A state champions Winter Park, and Pine Crest the 2A runner-up the past four years. We take a look at both the individual and team battles.
The main event at flrunners.com Invitational 17 will be both the boys and girls Race of Champions. The girl's race will feature ten of the top 15 ranked girls in the state of Florida including #1 Amanda Beach and #2 Bailey Hertenstein. Beach, a senior at Melbourne Central Catholic, and the state leader will be tested up front by defending 4A state champion and meet champion Hertenstein, as well as 2015 4A state champion Rafaella Gibbons of Winter Park who is making her flrunners.com Invitational debut. However don't count out four South Florida freshmen who are out to shake up the field. Meet Ali Del Re, Tsion Yared, Valerie Lastra, and Natalie Varela.
Two girls added their names to the sub 18 club in 2016 with Bailey Hertenstein and Kayley Delay running 17:54.30 and 17:55 respectively, but none is faster than the 17:47.60 from Melbourne Central Catholic's Amanda Beach. Fourth through eighth in the rankings belong to freshman, while 51 girls have run under 19:30 this season. We have pulled out massive amounts of data to showcase the top 5000 boys 5K times of the 2016 season in the state of the Florida. Where do you rank now and where will you end up at season's end?
Mia Rodriguez of The King's Academy won the Spanish River Invitational 1A/2A race with a time of 20:08.02. Oh and by the way, she's only a SEVENTH grader. Was her performance the most impressive from week four? You vote. You decide. Voting ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
South Florida is loaded with young talent. Alexandra Del Re of Jupiter High School proved she belongs in the conversation among the state's best after running a FL#4 18:11.05 to win the Spanish River Invitational 3A/4A race, while Columbus junior Deshay Fernandes got revenge on rival Joshua Collins who beat him at King of the Hill in the final seconds, by winning this past weekend's Spanish River Invitational 3A/4A race.) Our South Florida correspondent Eddie Romero picked the five best performances from the week in a feature we call South Florida's Fast Five.
The 3A/4A girls varsity race at the Spanish River Invitational proved to be a coming out party for the freshmen class in the state of Florida. Jupiter's Ali Del Re was first in 18:11.05 with Mater Academy Charter's Valerie Lastra (pictured above) right behind her in 18:15.94. Alyson Churchill of Lincoln is the fastest underclassmen on the list with her SB of 18:05.97. The top five athletes on the list are all freshman while the top eight have all run under 19 minutes. We rank the top 500 girls from the class of 2020 and 2019.
Today, I was running on fumes. Saturday we competed in the St. Thomas Invitational hosted by St. Brendan. I was a little hesitant and worried going into the race. I’m never one to lack confidence, but Wednesday night I came down with a stomach virus. I was absent from school on Thursday so my parents could monitor my food intake. But as the saying goes you train to be the best you can on your worst day.
MileSplit has the most comprehensive high school XC stats in the country. Our stats team has already put over 585,00 performances in the database this season across the country! We have pulled out massive amounts of data to showcase the top 5000 girls 5K times of the 2016 season in the state of the Florida. Where do you rank now and where will you end up at season's end?
Lincoln freshman Alyson Churchill headed north to the Bainbridge Bearcat Invitational in Georgia and ran the fastest time of the wee and FL#2 time of 18:05.97. A total of six girls clocked times under 19 minutes while 37 were under 20 minutes. We merged the results from every meet across the state and ranked the top 500 times to see who won the week.
Gulliver Prep freshman Natalie Varela and Belen Jesuit's Joshua Collins were two of the most impressive performers in South Florida from week three. Varela, broke the King Of The Hill meet record set last year by Brittney Gill of Dillard in a FL#3 time of 18:29.16, while Collins won the same meet, to pick up his 4th win in five meets. Our South Florida correspondent Eddie Romero picked the five best performances from the week in a feature we call South Florida's Fast Five.
Ft. Myers senior Krissy Gear performed well at her home meet, the Ft. Myers Hoptar Invitational winning easily with a time of 19:36.60. Can the 2015 3A runner-up with your vote for performance of the week? You decide. Voting closes Friday at 11:59 p.m.
Gulliver Prep freshman Natalie Varela faced a tough task at this week's King Of The Hill meet in Miami. Not only did Varela win the race with a 2A leading time of 18:29.16, but she also set a new meet record, breaking the old one set by Dillard's Brittney Gill last year by close to 40 seconds. She opens up about her race in this week's blog and calls it "Mission Accomplished".
Melbourne Central Catholic senior Amanda Beach cemented herself as one of the best in the state of Florida and after shattering the field at the Holy Trinity Cross Country Classic. Beach's time of 17:47.60 is the only mark under 18 minutes by a Sunshine State girl for 2016 and the state leader by 22 seconds. We rank the top 500 girls regardless of class. Where do you stack up?
Bolles junior Caitlin Collier was one of three girls at the Florida Horse Park Invitational to run under 19 minutes and one of ten throughout the state of Florida to accomplish that feat. For another week Melbourne Central Catholic senior Amanda Beach had the top time with her 18:19.60 from the Astronaut Invitational. We merged the results from EVERY meet across the state to determine the 500 fastest girl times and who won the week.
Gulliver Prep's Natalie Varela and Belen Jesuit's Joshua Collins were crowned champions at King Of The Hill in Miami. Varela's time of 18:29.16 was the fastest of the freshman who finished 1,2,3. Our South Florida correspondent Eddie Romero was on-site to capture all the exciting race video.
Someone will be crowned the king and the queen at Friday's King of The Hill race down in Miami. The race will be at Tropical Park starting with the girl's JV race at 3:45 p.m. and finishing up around 6:15 p.m. with awards for the top runners/teams. If the weather holds up, over 50 teams will be competing. If you're looking to watch some fast runners, several of south Florida's top performers from last week will be at this meet.
This year's freshmen class is very talented. Three girls have already run under 19 minutes and eight have gone sub 20. Spanish River's Rylee Pustilnik owns the fastest time with her 18:43.04 at the Park Vista Cobra XC Invitational. Pustilnik has finished first in the first two meets of her high school career. Lincoln's Alyson Churchill has also won her first two meets and is only three seconds back of Pustilnik with a SB of 18:46.87 from the Cougar XC Challenge. We rank the 500 fastest freshmen girls so far this season.
One race down, so I know where my fitness levels stands. This week there's a formidable challenge ahead; King of the Hill, at my home park Tropical Park. Last year, I took second behind Brittany Gill. Danger looms. There are four or five girls that can take this race.I have to bring my A game just to make the top three.
Everyone knows South Florida in the summertime is HOT. The talent in South Florida is burning up the cross country courses one week into the regular season. Our South Florida correspondent Eddie Romero takes a look at the top performances from the region.
Race week. This weekend I ran my first race as a high schooler at the Maverick Stampede. I was kind of bummed at first because i wanted to run the Martin County Under the Lights meet, to test myself against Nicole Matysik and Tsion Yared, but as luck has it that race was canceled due to weather conditions so we headed out to Archbishop McCarthy for the race.
Plant senior Laura Jones picked up the first win of her cross country career against a competitive field at the Jim Ryun Season Opener. Jones, made her move over East Lake senior Jen Lima midway through the race and crossing the finish line at Holloway Park in a new personal best 19:37.70. Which performance do you think was the best of week one? You decide. Voting ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
The lone state champion returner from 2015 on either the boys or girls side is Riverview junior Bailey Hertenstein. Hertenstein's 17:32.55 is the fastest time regardless of class on the Apalachee Regional Park course in November. 2014 state champions Tsion Yared (2A) and Rafaella Gibbons (4A) also return for another ring. See the top 500 returning times from the 2015 Cross Country finals and which girls have the best shots at bringing back the crown.
Natalie Varela of Gulliver Prep is one of the top freshman in the state of Florida and the rest of the country. Learn a little more about her and see her summer training log as she prepares for the upcoming 2016 cross country season.
Trevor Kattenberg and his Satellite Scorpions will be one of over two dozen teams competing in the Wickham Park Cross Country Jamboree. We crunched the numbers using our virtual meet feature to predict the top individuals and teams for Saturday's pre-season contest. Flrunners.com will be on-site with photos, recaps, and results of all the action!
It seems like Tsion Yared has been running on the high school scene for years, and it's because she has. The Pine Crest standout was sixth at the 2A Cross Country Finals and was the state champion as a 7th grader in 2014. Yared was off to a bright start in 2015, before the injury bug struck right before the postseason. She comes in as the top freshman returner with her time of 18:17.80 from the flrunners.com Invitational where she was third, but her success hinges on her health. A healthy Yared is a dangerous one. We look at the top 100 freshman girls in the state.
Bolles sophomore Caitlin Collier was INCHES away from claiming her first cross country state championship. Collier collapsed right before the line and saw her closest competitor Alyssa Pujals of Pine Crest cruise in for the victory. The Bulldog sophomore is coming off a stellar track season where she won the 800, 1,600, and 3,200m titles. Her PR of 17:41.80 from NXNSE Region is the only time in 2A under 18 minutes. Take a look at the top 100 girls returners for the 2016 season.
One college coach at the FHSAA State Finals called Kayley Delays 3,200m run one of the best he'd ever seen. Delay claimed her first ever state title winning the race in an amazing 10:30.30 and guide two other runners under 10:45. A total of 11 athletes ran under 11 minutes including eighth graders Natalie Varela and Alexandra Del Re. Fellow class of 2020 standout Valerie Lastra was right at 11 minutes. Take a look at the top 500 girls 3,200m times for the 2016 season.
Alexandra Del Re and Valerie Lastra proved why they are two of the top distance standouts in our girls middle school rankings. Both ran FLYRA Middle School State Championship meet records in the 3,000 (10:04.16) and 1,500m run (4:40.56) respectively. See the top 50 middle school girls in EVERY distance event.
Laine Roberts of the Bolles School broke a six year old meet record in the pole vault, one of 11 meet records that went down Saturday at the FLYRA Middle School State Championship. See them go down in this must watch meet records slideshow!
Dustin Fletcher caught up with several of the top middle school athletes at this weekend's FLYRA Middle School State Championship including girls 100 and 200m champion Tamari Davis of Pure Athletics Track Club to get their thoughts on the meet and their performances!
We continue our All Flrunners.com 2015 Cross Country team with our second team athletes. 2015 was an incredible year filled with talented runners so not everyone could make our list. We want to thank the running community for a fantastic season and congratulations to the following athletes!
For the second straight week Caitlyn Collier of Bolles has posted the fastest time of the postseason for 2A. Her 18:28.30 to win 2A Region 1 was over seven seconds faster than Alyssa Pujols of Pine Crest who ran 18:35.51 to win 2A Region 4. See the top 500 girls times in 2A for the week and see where you stack up?
Sixty plus teams will make their way to Larry & Penny Thompson Park in Miami Thursday for the Junior Orange Bowl Invitational. The meet will start 10 a.m. with the middle school junior varsity and varsity races and resume at 2:30 p.m. with the high school junior varsity and varsity races. Stay tuned to flrunners for coverage and results of all the action. In the meantime, see how we see the girls and boys invitational races playing out!
We are nearly half way through the season with the state series looming in the coming weeks. Take a look at our breakdown of class 2A and how our virtual meet sees this one playing out!
Over 375 teams and just shy of 4,000 athletes competed in the flrunners.com Invitational 16. The meet consisted of SIXTEEN high school races. We merged all the results to find out which girls were the best of the best! Where do you rank?
Jeff Adams was on-site all weekend long at FLR 16 as part of our extensive coverage team and snapped over 7,200 photos! from both days including this one of girls invitational winner, Gulliver Prep 8th grader Natalie Varela who set a new PR with a time of 18:44.20. Check out all the photos and make sure to tag yourself!
The 2015 Cross Country Finals are a month and a half away at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. We wanted to see how EACH CLASSIFICATION would play out if we scored the meets using season bests at this point in the season. Check out our virtual meet and analysis in this slide show!
8th grade standout Natalie Varela of Gulliver Prep continued her spectacular season by winning the girls 1A/2A race in 18:53.28 at the Spanish River Invitational. We combined the 1A/2A, 3A/4A and JV results to see what would happen in one big race. Where would you finish?
The 2015 Pine Crest Invitational is the largest one yet over the meets four year history. Over 45 teams will make their way to Mills Pond Park in Ft. Lauderdale. See what individuals and teams have the best shot at winning in our virtual meet/ Flrunners.com will have on-site coverage as well as results, and a recap of all the action following the meet!
The future of cross country in South Florida and the state will be on display as 8th graders Natalie Varela of Gulliver Prep and Rahyah Andressohn of Mater Academy Charter go head to head for the second straight week this time at the King of the Hill CC Invitational. We used our compare athlete feature to see how these have fared against each on the track and on the cross country course!
Lauderdale Lakes Middle School swept both the team titles at the FLYRA MS State Championship with valuable points from Daishon Spann, but it was MGX star Tyrese Cooper that stole the show.
With the FLYRA Middle School State Championships this weekend we take a look at the top twenty times in each four events that the middle school age group competes in. Which one of these girls will cross the line first? Each year the FLYRA Middle School State Championships creates a new star. The past several years Rafaella Gibbons was the name to beat, who will be this years? Isabella Pawloski? Rahyah Andressohn? Natalie Varela? The list is long which should make for an exciting meet!