TF Heads to Sacramento for NCAA West Preliminaries

Marcel Espinoza. Credit Lloyd Sicard
Marcel Espinoza. Credit Lloyd Sicard

FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton track and field will have four entries from the women's team and 10 from the men's team at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Sacramento that begin on Thursday. The qualifiers out of the east and west regions will compete in the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 5-8 in Austin, Texas. Competition begins at 12 p.m. PT on Thursday and Friday and 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. The women's squad is fresh off the first Big West Track and Field Championship in program history while the men's team narrowly missed a three-peat and earned a runner-up finish.

On the women's side, junior Samantha Huerta will compete in the 800-meter run. She enters the competition with the No. 7 ranked mark at 2:04.33. Huerta has turned in a strong 2019 outdoor season thus far, breaking each of her own three school records and becoming the first Titan to ever win Big West titles in both the 800 meters and 1,500 meters in the same meet. She was named Big West Women's Track Athlete of the Year for her accomplishments.

Iesha Hamm is entered in the high jump competition with No. 7 ranked mark of 5-11.25 (1.81m). She broke her own school record at the Big West Championships with that 1.81m clearance, good for a first-place finish, making her the first Titan to ever win a conference title in the high jump.

Sierra Valdivieso will represent the Titans in the discus with the No. 40 ranked mark of 168-0 (51.20m). She posted that personal-best toss at the 2019 Triton Invitational. Last weekend at the Big West Championships, she took fifth place in the event with a toss of 157-3 (47.92m).

Nicole Clark has the 29th ranked mark in the javelin competition at 159-7 (48.65m). She uncorked that personal-best toss at the 2019 Baldy Castillo Invitational. After winning the 2018 Big West Championship in the event, Clark made it back on the podium again this year with her third-place finish. She threw 158-11 (48.44) at the meet last weekend.

For the men, Mason Rollins will compete in both the 100 meters and 200 meters. His 100-meter time of 10.45 is ranked No. 48 entering the competition while his 200-meter time of 20.92 is 28th. Rollins won both events at the Big West Championships with times of 10.49 and 20.92, respectively. His 200-meter time of 20.92 tied Thaddeus Smith's school-record time set in 2016. Rollins posted the aforementioned 10.45 time at the Big West Challenge with a wind reading of 2.9 meters per second, which is officially wind-aided but acceptable to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries.

Marcel Espinoza, the reigning Big West Men's Track Athlete of the Year, will compete in the 400-meter sprint and enters the competition with the No. 7 ranked time of 45.87. He clocked that school-record time at the Big West Championships to secure the title. He is just the third Titan to ever win the league title in the event, joining Darion Zimmerman (2016, 2017) and Chris Epstein (2007). He is only the second conference meet winner all-time to run a sub-46 second race (Boise State's Corey Nelson, 45.36, 1999). 

Jorge Sanchez (8:56.23) and Anthony Alfaro (8:57.64) will compete in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase and their respective times rank No. 36 and No. 41 entering the meet. Alfaro took second place in the event at the Big West Championships while Sanchez joined him on the podium with a third-place finish. Sanchez's personal-best time of 8:56.23 came at the Steve Scott Invitational. Alfaro's PR of 8:57.64 came at the Big West Championships to secure his runner-up finish.

Charles Kelly and Diego Courbis will represent the Titans in the 400-meter hurdles. Kelly's personal-best time of 51.95 came at the Big West Championships where he earned a runner-up finish in the event. That time ranks him 41st entering the competition. Diego Courbis' season-best time of 52.11 placed him fourth in the Big West Championships and ranks 48th in the competition.

The men's 4x100-meter relay team will compete with the No. 21 ranked time of 40.33. The quartet of Parris Samaniego, Rasaun House, Rollins and Espinoza clocked that at the Titan Team Challenge. They also won the Big West title with a time of 40.55, marking the fourth straight year the Titans have won the event at the conference championships. The 2018 squad posted a school record at the NCAA West Preliminaries and for the first time since 2003, qualified for the NCAA Championships in the event.

The men's 4x400-meter relay team is set compete as well with the No. 18 ranked time of 3:08.48. That season-best time set by Samaniego, House, Chris Shiley and Espinoza was good for a first-place finish at the Big West Championships, marking the program's first win in that event since 2002.

Trevor Gorwin is the lone field event athlete to represent the Titans. He will compete in the hammer throw with the 44th ranked mark of 198-3 (60.43m). That mark came at the 2019 Baldy Castillo Invitational. Gorwin earned a fifth-place finish in the Big West Championships with a toss of 185-2 (56.44m).

Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.

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