South Florida's Fast Five From Week 3: Varela, Collins Can't Be Stopped

South Florida's Fastest 5 Girls

Natalie Varela leads a trio of freshman under 19 minutes at the King Of The Hill meet in Miami. Varela broke the meet record and posted a FL#3 time of 18:29.16.

Natalie Varela (Freshman, Gulliver Prep)

It's a new week which means new top performances in south Florida. What doesn't change this week for the top performance is that first place is another freshman. Not only is this runner a freshman but she's also already had the top performance in week one.  Natalie Varela, who is from Gulliver Prep high school, starts up a win streak this season after winning the King of The Hill meet down in Miami at Tropical Park. She crossed the line with a time of 18:29.16, which became her new personal best. Her previous best time was 18:40.41 and she ran that at last year's state finals, placing fourth as an eighth grader. Varela also can in first place last year in the 800m, winning the Middle School State Championship in 2:18.38. 

Earlier this season, Varela came in first place at the First Maverick Stampede. There she ran a time of 18:59.80, which placed her as week one's top performer. Now back again this week and with a 30 second drop, Varela is definitely a top runner to watch out for at races. She looked strong and confident at the King of The Hill race, so don't think 18:29.16 will be her best time this year because this girl can ran fast.  

Valerie Lastra (Freshman, Mater Academy)

Taking second place this week in the south Florida's top performance list is Valarie Lastra. Lastra is a freshman from Mater Academy and this is her first year running. She definitely shocked people opening up her season with a time of 18:49.09 at the King of The Hill, placing second behind Varela. Since Lastra is new to the sport, she is a question mark for the rest of the season. Lastra might run faster or not but the exciting thing is that she's a runner to watch out for now.

Tsion Yared (Freshman, Pine Crest

Next on the list is Tsion Yared from Pine Crest high school. Yared not only comes in third for the south Florida's top performances but she also took third place at the King of The Hill meet. She crossed the line at 18:57.13, which is about 50 seconds off her personal best. Earlier this season, Yared came in first at the 4th Annual DDD Sommer Invite. There she ran 20:26, so this was definitely a great race for her. 

Simone Vreeland (Senior, Pine Crest)

Pine Crest doesn't just have one runner but two that place on the list this week. Coming in fourth for this week's top performances is Simone Vreeland who ran a time of 19:42.77 at the King of The Hill meet. There she placed fourth behind her teammate Yared. This was a great race for Vreeland because her personal best is 19:30 from last year so this race puts her only 12 seconds off her PR. 

Maria Fernandez (Junior, Doral Academy)

For fifth place it was a close call but Maria Fernandez from Doral Academy takes the spot. She earned it because she out kicked a girl from Pine Crest by a second. Fernandez ran a time of 19:52.12 at the King of The Hill meet, placing fifth. Her personal best is 19:20.76 which was ran at last year's state finals.