Feb. 10, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - After literally years of research, a comprehensive list of Cal State Fullerton track and field records and cross country accomplishments has been compiled by Head Coach John Elders and posted on the athletic department's website.
"I'm very excited to finally post school records that include performances from the late 1960's and early 1970's," said Elders, a CSF alum from 1988 and the head track and field and cross country coach since the same year.
"Cal State Fullerton boasts a rich history in cross country and track & field that includes a slew of All-Americans and multiple national champions. It is long overdue that the outstanding athletes from that era get the recognition they deserve.
"I want to thank former coach Dr. Ron Witchey and former athletes Mark Covert, Tim Tubb, Steve Wennerstrom, Dave White and Jim Woodard for their help in compiling these records."
Posted are the men's school records that include the imperial distances as well as the "old rules" javelin record (the javelin was changed to not fly as far) and the "old table" decathlon record (the scoring table was modified), changes which date to the early 1980s.
Fullerton won the NCAA College Division (now Div. II) cross country championship in 1971 led by four All-Americans -- Tubb, second individually; Covert, third; John Casso, fifth; and Chris Hoffman, ninth. Some observers thought that team was good enough that it would have beaten Steve Prefontaine's University of Oregon team that year. The two teams never met head-to-head, but the Titans defeated common opponents by a larger margin than Oregon.
Covert was the individual champion in 1970 when the Titans placed second. He earned All-American honors at the Div. I level as well, since in those days the top College Division runners advanced to the Div. I meet. That made Covert the first Div. I All-American at Cal State Fullerton in any sport. Casso matched the feat in 1971 and Covert went on to place seventh at the 1972 U. S. Olympic marathon trials.
The Titans have had other national champions. Mike Eck won the title in the 880 yard run in both 1967 and 1968. Jim Feeney was the javelin champion in 1972 and Paul Fink won the decathlon in both 1973 and 1974. The 1973 track and field team placed fourth at nationals.
Track and field, an all-male sport at the time, was dropped after the 1975 season when the Titans moved up to Div. I. It was reinstated for men in 1981 but suspended again after the 1983 season. A women's program was launched in 1984 and the men's program was reinstated in 1989 when Coach Elders took the reins.
The Titans' top performers at the Div. I level have been national finalists Mike Tansley in the steeplechase, Brandon Campbell in the long and high jumps, Matt Turner in the long jump, Giovanni Lanaro in the pole vault and Heather Killeen in the women's distances.
Fullerton had a cinder track located in the northwest corner of campus until the construction of the sports complex, which included a new all-weather surface track and was completed in 1992. For two years, the Titans practiced off campus. The running track was resurfaced last year but the runway sports have yet to be brought back to standards.