CSUF cross country places first and second at Highlander Invitational

In Sports
(Courtesy of Matt Brown)

Cal State Fullerton men’s and women’s cross country teams finished in first and second place, respectively, Saturday at the UC Riverside Highlander Invitational, the best the team has performed as a unit since their first race of the season.

In the men’s 6K race, the Titans finished with 58 points and a team time of 1:31:01, beating the UC Irvine Anteaters by 14 points.

In the lead for the men, sophomore Jorge Sanchez finished in seventh place with a time of 18:04.3. One place behind Sanchez, fellow Titan junior Samuel Pimentel finished with a time of 18:07.8. In third place for the team, freshman Jacob Smith finished with a time of 18:09.9, earning him 11th place overall.

The women finished with 67 points and a team time of 1:29:11 in the 5K race. The team fell behind first-place UC Santa Barbara by 17 points.

Sophomore Sam Huerta led her squad with a fifth-place finish and a time of 17:27.4. About two seconds later, freshman Wendi Leos finished in seventh place. In third place for the Titans, freshman Trinity Ruelas finished with a time of 18:00.2, which earned her 15th place overall.

“It was definitely our best team race since the Mark Covert Classic,” Titans Head Coach John Elders told Cal State Fullerton Sports Media. “We’re getting healthier, and we seem to be coming together at a good time, which is great. Despite some subpar weather conditions, we still did well.”

Last season, both teams placed second in the UCR Highlander Invitational.

The men finished with a team score of 51 and an overall time of 1:31:34, improving upon last season’s time by 33 seconds.

The women improved by 14 seconds, after finishing last year with a team score of 54 and a combined time of 1:29:25.

The Titans return home Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. to host the Titan Invitational at the Titan Track Complex, the last race before the Big West Conference Championship Oct. 28.

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