FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country at the UCSB Lagoon Open on Saturday morning and the women's squad earned a first-place finish while the men finished third overall.
The women were led by freshman Lucina Vincent (17:10.56) who finished third and Trinity Ruelas (17:12.70) who followed up in fourth place in the women's 5K. Sandra Flores (17:26.61, 8th), Gabrielle De La Rosa (17:36.59, 9th) and Stephanie Cortez (17:38.46, 10th) rounded the top 5 finishers for the Titans. CSF was able to get revenge and run down Cal Poly after being edged out by the Mustangs at the Mark Covert Classic. Cal Poly finished second with 43 points just edging out the Gauchos who finished with 48 points.
"They ran really well," head coach John Elders said. "I don't think we've beaten Cal Poly since they turned DI so I'm really excited for the gals. They executed a great race and competed well. It is a big win for us. Poly was missing some runners but so were we so it all evens out. It's exciting but it's just one step and we just have to keep taking one step to get where we want to be."
The men's squad earned a third-place finish with 63 points while the women came in first with 34 points. Samuel Pimentel (25:06.25) and Jacob Smith (25:07.69) led the way as they finished fourth and fifth respectively in the 8,000-meter race. Erick Juarez (26:27.94, 27th), Edgard Villa (26:28.09, 28th) and Uriel Medina (26:38.85, 29th) were the top 5 finishers for the men's team, but was not enough to pull the Titans ahead of the second place Gauchos. Cal Poly won the men's team competition with 33 points while UC Santa Barbara followed in second place with 42 points.
"It wasn't a great day, overall," Elders said. "I felt really good about Sam and Jake's races up front, they ran very solid races. After that, we dropped off huge. We have a few guys who haven't felt great and then some guys probably over-trained this week and seemed to be out of gas. You can only ask so much of your body. They are learning and hopefully take that and are able to train more appropriately. At the end of the day, it isn't close to what we are capable of but this is a learning opportunity and a chance to get better. I think we're going to turn it around at Roy Griak."
The Titans look to keep the momentum rolling as they head to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invite at the Lee Bolstad Golf Course on Sep. 29.
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