Gabriella De La Rosa

Cross Country Changes Plans, Heads to UCR Highlander Invitational

FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country were set to compete in the Bronco Invitational on Saturday morning but due to weather issues the Bay Area, the squad will head to Riverside, Calif., for the UCR Highlander Invitational. The men's 6,000-meter racce will begin at 8 a.m. PT while the women's 5K race is set to commence at 8:30 a.m.

The Titans will compete against the host UC Riverside, a total of 13 schools will be competing this weekend, including other Big West opponents CSUN and Long Beach State.

"It is an important meet for us," head coach John Elders said. "We definitely want to have a high-quality performance to build our confidence and momentum going into the Big West Championships. We're looking forward to seeing what we can do."

The women's squad earned a second-place finish among Division I teams in the season-opening race at the Mark Covert Classic (Sep. 2) and then finished in an eighth place at a very competitive UC Riverside Invitational (Sep. 16). The Titans earned a ninth-place finish at the Capital Cross Challenge (Sep. 30). Freshman Wendi Leos and sophomore Sam Huerta have been the team's first and second finishers in each of the three races this season.

The men's team has looked very strong to start off the 2017 season, earning a first-place finish at the Mark Covert Classic and then taking third place among 13 DI teams at the UC Riverside Invitational. The Titans earned a fourth-place finish at the Capital Cross Challenge as well. CSF was also the top Big West team at both the UC Riverside Invitational and the Capital Cross Challenge. Junior Samuel Pimentel was the first Titan to cross the finish line in the first two races this season, earning a third-place finish in his first race and 19th place finish in his second. Freshman Jacob Smith was the top finisher for the Titans at the Capital Cross Challenge with his 20th-place finish.

Both teams were ranked No. 15 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) preseason regional rankings. In the October 2 week four regional rankings, the men's squad is still No. 15 in the west region while the women's team fell out of the top 15.

The Titans return eight student-athletes from the men's squad that took third place at the 2016 Big West Championships. That third-place finish was the team's best finish at the league championships since 1993. The women's team welcomes back six student-athletes from the 2016 squad that took fourth place at the league championships.

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