Highlander Invitational Set for Saturday

Highlander Invitational Course Map

FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country squads continue the 2013 season this weekend on Saturday at the Highlander Invitational, hosted by UC Riverside.

The men's 6,000-meter and the women's 5,000-meter courses will be held at the UCR Agricultural Operations Course in Riverside, Calif. The men's race will start at 8:00 a.m. followed by the women's race at 8:30 a.m.

THE COURSE: The course is deceptive, appearing flat, fast and easy at first, but with a large difference in elevation from one end of the course to the other. The west end, at about the 1.5 mile mark, is 100 feet lower than the start/finish area, and runners tend to go out fast only to find the return home challenging.

The Highlanders' course features a long loop that winds through groves of citrus trees and crosses over irrigation canals. It has a wide running surface, allowing for a large field and outstanding racing.

The course also has a rich history. Developed for the 1979 NCAA Division II National Championships, the course has since hosted the annual premier UC Riverside Invitational as well as numerous conference and regional championships. The site hosted the Big West Championships in 2002, 2004-05, and 2008-11. The UC Riverside Women's Cross Country Team won the 2008 Big West Championships on its home turf.

THE FIELD: Men's - Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside, and Wyoming. Women's - Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside CSU Bakersfield, Wyoming and USC. 

RESULTS: Complete results and a recap will be posted on Fullertontitans.com. Live results will be posted on flashwest.com and gohighlanders.com.

INTER-REGION JAMBOREE: The Cal State Fullerton cross country teams last completed in the Inter-Region Jamboree on Oct. 4, in Sacramento, Calif.

For the second straight race, Katie Bathgate led the Titan women, while for the fourth time this season, freshman Gilbert Solorza led the Titan men, as the women's and men's cross country teams finished 11th and 12th, respectively.

Bathgate, finished the 5k course in 44th place with a time of 17:44 to lead the pack. Following Bathgate was Emily Taylor in 47th place with a time of 17:50. Freshman Arianna Fuentes completed the race in a time of 18:16 (77th place), and was the third Titan to cross the finish line.

Three additional Titans rounded out the top-six finishers as sophomore Ana Valdovinos finished fourth (22:57.0), followed by freshman Arianna Fuentes (5th, 23:00.3) and senior Sam Taylor (6th, 23:06.5).

Completing the top –seven finishers for Cal State Fullerton included Tijerra Lynch (79th, 18:18), Sara Taylor (86th, 18:22), Ana Valdovinos (92nd, 18:27) and Celinda Manzo (109th, 18:51).

Solorza led the Titan men completing the 8k course with a time of 24:46. A trio of rookies led the men's team as Jose Penaloza finished the race with a time of 25:19 (69th) followed by Daniel Ramirez (72nd, 25:26).

Rounding out the top-seven finishers for the Titans included Jayson Perez (75th, 25:31), Sean Graham (84th, 25:40), Donald Bernard (90th, 25:44) and Kevin Russell (93rd, 25:47).

Top 3 Men's Finishers at Inter-Region Jamboree Name              Overall Finish                      Points         Time 

Gilbert Solorza                37th                         34            24:46

Jose Penaloza                 69th                         57            25:19

Daniel Ramos               72nd                        59            25:26

Top 3 Women's Finishers at Inter-Region Jamboree

Name                   Overall Finish               Points         Time 

 

Katie Bathgate                44th                         43            17:44         

Emily Taylor                   47th                         46            15:50

Arianna Fuentes              77th                         71            18:16

 

FRESHMEN MAKING AN IMPACT: In four collegiate races, Gilbert Solorza has recorded the fastest times for the Titan men each time. At the Mark Covert Classic, Solorza, a native of Buena Park, Calif., ran a 25:53.5 8k, which was 18 seconds faster than the next Titan finisher, and at the Fresno Invitational he ran a 20:02.9 four-mile. Solorza finished sixth (first among Titans) at the Mustang Challenge with a time of 25:15:15 and most recently at the Inter-Region Jamboree he finished with a time of 24:46 in the 8k race. Freshman Joe Casco led the Titans with a fifth-place finish at the CSUSB Invite, clocking a time of 26:48.7.

BIG WEST HONOR FOR TITAN: Junior Katie Bathgate claimed the Big West Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors on Oct. 1. Bathgate is the first Titan to earn weekly honors this season.

FIRST PLACE FINISH FOR TITAN WOMEN: Junior Katie Bathgate led the Titans with a first-place performance, completing the 6k course at the CSUSB Invite with a time of 22:30.9. The first-place finish for the women was the program's first since winning the Northridge Invite on Oct. 16, 2009.

WOMEN PLACE SECOND IN FRESNO: Emily Taylor and Katie Bathgate helped led the Titans' women's squad to a second-place finish at the 2013 Fresno Invitational on Sept. 14 in Fresno, Calif.

TITAN MEN FINISH THIRD AGAIN THIS SEASON: The Cal State Fullerton's men's team finished third again, for the second time this season at the CSUSB Invite on Sept. 28, with a point total of 49, trailing UC San Diego (1st, 33 points) and Cal Poly Pomona (2nd, 39 points). The Titans finished third at the Fresno Invitational on Sept. 14.

TITAN MEN FINISH SEOND: The Titan men recorded a second place finish at the Mustang Challenge, which was the team's best finish since Sept. 3, 2011 when the team placed second at the Asics Season Opener.

LONGEST-TENURED COACH: As the 2013 season gets underway, cross country and track and field head coach John Elders enters his 26th season at the helm of each program making him the longest tenured head coach in the history of Cal State Fullerton.

Elders was tied with former fencing head coach Heizaburo Okawa (1982-2006) and former men's soccer coach Al Mistri (1981-2005) for 25 years of service at Fullerton. The Orange County native coaches cross country, women's indoor track and field, and men's and women's outdoor track and field, and is one of three current Titan head coaches who have graduated from Cal State Fullerton joining men's soccer head coach Bob Ammann and women's soccer head coach Demian Brown.

A LOOK AT THE 2013 TITANS: The men return five of the seven runners who competed at the conference championships, while the women return three. However, last season's top female runner Emily Taylor missed the conference championships due to an injury. The Titan men return 15 players from last season and add 13 newcomers. On the women's side, nine total runners return and ten freshmen join the 2013 roster.

SEASON PREVIEW: Cal State Fullerton head coach John Elders sat down with the sports information staff to discuss the upcoming 2013 season. Filmed by department videographer Matt Brown, fans can view the entire video via Youtube.com/CSFAthletics.