FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country started off the 2018 season at the 34th annual Mark Covert Classic on Saturday morning. The men's squad earned a third-place finish with 79 points while the women finished fourth with 88 points. Samuel Pimentel and Jacob Smith were second and third in the men's 8,000-meter race while Trinity Ruelas was sixth in the women's 6K to lead the Titans.
"I thought it was a really solid start for both groups," head coach John Elders said. "Sam and Jake were very impressive for the guys. There times were excellent and they really raced well. We were a little shorthanded overall on the guy's side but I'm pleased with how the team ran."
Cal Poly won the men's team competition with 60 points while UC Santa Barbara was 73rd in second place, just six points ahead of the Titans. Pepperdine was 98th and Cal Baptist was 174.
Pimentel earned a runner-up finish with a time of 24:48.4 while Smith was right behind him at 24:48.6. Nick Randazzo of UCSB took first in the 8K at 24:41.0. Jorge Sanchez was the third Titan finisher and 16th overall with a time of 25:15.2. Uriel Medina's time of 25:33.8 was good for 27th place and the team's final scorer was Erick Juarez in 37th with a time of 25:47.1.
Cal Poly narrowly won the women's team competition as it totaled 56 points to beat Cal Baptist had 57 in second place. Arizona State was third with 68 points, CSF was fourth with 88 points and UC Davis took fifth place at 114 points.
Ruelas' time of 17:57.1 was good for sixth place overall while Lucina Vincent finished 12th at 18:06.3, good for second among Titan runners. Gabrielle De La Rosa was 21st with a time of 18:26.7, Alyssa Block was 24th at 18:28.2 and Sandra Flores' time of 18:30.2 and 25th-place finish rounded out the five scorers for the Titans.
"We haven't beat the UCSB women in a race in a long time so that was nice," Elders said. "Our team is very strong and they are just going to get better. Trinity looked great out front. Lucina Vincent did well in her first college race so that was nice to see. Overall we're happy with how the season started and we're just trying to get better every day."
Next up for the Titans is a meet at Santa Barbara against the Gauchos and Cal Poly on Sep. 15.
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