Titans Shoot for Top Half Finish at XC Championships

Oct. 24, 2007

San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Both Cal State Fullerton's men's and women's squads have a legitimate shot at top four finishes at the Big West Conference Championships according to Head Coach John Elders. The racing will be held Saturday morning at the Fairbanks Memorial Cross Country Course in San Luis Obispo.

In the men's race, 27th ranked Cal Poly looks to be the team favorite with UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside not too far behind. CSF will battle UC Davis & Long Beach State for fourth place.

"Our challenge at this meet is to have strong performances from all top five of our runners," said Elders. "In the four regular season meets this season the men's team has had four different No. 1 runners -- Eddie Perez (So.) at the Fullerton Opener, Sergio Tapia (So.) at the Pepperdine Invitational, Jeff Mackay (Fr.) at the Stanford Invitational and Cory Vaselenko (Sr.) at the Santa Clara Invitational. If these four guys and Brent Handa (Fr.) all run what they are capable of running on the same day, then we will have a very successful meet."

The women's team title should be a hotly contested battle between 24th ranked UC Santa Barbara and upstart UC Riverside. UC Irvine looks to finish in the top three while CSF and Long Beach State should compete for 4th place.

"The Lady Titans go into the championship as unranked in the West Region but were ranked as high as 11th this season," said Elders. "The strength of this year's team has been its pack running. At Santa Clara the gap between the 1st and 5th runners was an outstanding 17 seconds. Freshman Grace Gonzales led the pack the last two meets at the Stanford and Santa Clara Invites and is followed closely by Juliane Masciana (Sr.), Gail Munoz (So.), Carolyn Ellis (So.), Andrea Aguilar (So.) and Amanda Eichmann (Jr.).

"The key to our success this weekend is the positioning of our pack. If the gals position themselves well early in the race and keep their pack together we'll have a great meet."