FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton track and field is set to compete against UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, and UC Irvine in the 26th annual Big West Challenge at UCSB's Pauley Track Facility on Friday. The meet will act as a mini conference championship preview with four of the nine Big West schools competing in championship style format. Scoring for the meet will follow a 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scheme with two athletes per school counting per event. The meet will begin at 12 p.m. PT with field events and 5 p.m. PT for track events.
Samantha Huerta (for the third time this season) and Marcel Espinoza were named Big West Men's and Women's Track Athletes of the Week on Wednesday (April 3) after their standout performances at the Titan Team Challenge last weekend. Huerta broke her own school record – and posted the nation's second-fastest time – as she ran a scorching 2:04.33 in the 800 meters. Espinoza won the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 46.93 seconds, the first time he broke the 47 second barrier. He also contributed to the winning 4x100 (40.33) and 4x400 (3:13.84) relay teams. His 400 meter time is No. 1 in the Big West and 11th in the West Region
In the men's sprints, the Titans own three of the top five spots in the Big West in the 100 meters and and each of the top four in the 200 meters, led by Mason Rollins in both at 10.54 and 21.22, respectively. Charles Kelly's 110mH time of 14.29 is third in the league on the year while Diego Courbis' 400mH time of 53.16 is fourth.
Jake Smith owns the top time in the conference in the 1,500 meters at 3:50.22 while Huerta is second in that distance at 4:25.03. Trinity Ruelas also holds the top women's 5K time at 16:32.56 with Alyssa Block at third at 16:50.59. Jorge Sanchez's 3K steeplechase time of 9:05.27 is No. 1 in the Big West on the men's side while Gabrielle De La Rosa is first on the women's side at 10:50.53.
Kyle Beck (16-0.75, 4.90m) and Shelby Noble (12-7.5, 3.85m) are both ranked second in the league in the men's and women's pole vault.
Sierra Valdivieso is second in the Big West in the women's discus with a mark of 167-1 (50.93m) and Nicole Clark is second in the women's javelin with a toss of 159-7 (48.65m). Trevor Gorwin is third in the conference in the men's hammer (198-3/60.47m) and fourth in the shot put (53-6.25/16.31m).
With the 2019 season under way, cross country and track and field head coach John Elders is in his 31st season at the helm of each program making him the longest tenured head coach in the history of Cal State Fullerton. Cal State Fullerton won the 2017 Big West Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the first conference title in program history, then repeated that feat in 2018 to become back-to-back champions.
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