NCAA West Regional on Deck for Cross Country
FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country head to Seattle for the NCAA West Regional on Friday morning at Jefferson Park Golf Course. Over thirty men's and women's cross country teams, including premier in the West, will be in the field to secure a trip to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 18 at Louisville, Ky. The women's 6,000-meter race is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. PT while the men's 10,000-meter race will commence at 11:30 a.m.
The Titans will compete against the elite teams not only in the West region but in the nation, including Stanford (M: 4, W: 7), Portland (M: 6, W:NR), Oregon (M: 13, W3), Washington (M: 20, W: NR), Washington State (M: 27, W: NR), Boise State (M: 26, W: 10) and California (M: NR, W: 26). Cal Poly is ranked seventh in the west region, the highest ranked Big West team in the region on the men's side. For the women, UC Santa Barbara is No. 13 in the west region and it is the highest ranked Big West squad in the region.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to go up there and see where we're at, now at the regional level," head coach John Elders said. "The west regional meet is definitely the second-best cross country meet of the season, the only meet that would be better is the NCAA Championships. It's a great opportunity for our kids to see what that level of competition is like."
At the 2016 NCAA West Regional, the women's team took 15th place in the 6,000-meter race at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento. On the men's side, the team also took 15th place in the 10,000-meter race.
The men's team earned a third-place finish at the 2017 Big West Championships for the second straight year after not earning a finish that high since 1993. The women's team took 3rd place at the 2017 league championships, the best women's team finish at the Big West Championships for CSF since 1992.
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 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). At the UCR Highlander Invitational (Oct. 14), the women's team posted a runner-up finish. Freshman Wendi Leos and sophomore Sam Huerta have been the top two finishers for the Titans in each competition thus far. In the final race before championship season, the women's team took it easy during the Titan Invitational (Oct. 20) 6K and earned a second-place finish among DI teams.
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 then earned a fourth-place finish at the Capital Cross Challenge. CSF then won the men's 6,000-meter race at the UCR Highlander Invitational. The men's squad rested its top runners for the Titan Invitational, and were led by freshman Uriel Medina to a second-place finish among DI teams. The men's team has shown its depth throughout the season, as three different student-athletes have been the first Titan to cross the finish line.
"We're starting to look at moving ahead and becoming more competitive at the regional level and then national level so to see where we're will be a good guiding post for how we need to move forward," Elders said.
Both teams were ranked No. 15 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) preseason regional rankings. Both the men's and women's teams were ranked in the west region throughout the majority of the season as well.