Cross country photo

Trinity Ruelas earned her second individual victory on Saturday. (CSUF Athletics)

In the penultimate weekend prior to the Big West conference championships, Cal State Fullerton men and women’s cross country teams had a strong outing at the Highlander Classic on Oct. 16.

Led by the women’s team who finished the 6K race in first place with 35 points, 53 more points than second-place UC Irvine which finished with 88 points, while New Mexico State University rounded out the top three with 112 points.

The men’s team nearly completed the second half of the sweep in the 8K race as the team finished with 78 points — just three points shy of first place Cal Baptist University. Grand Canyon University finished in third with 113 points.

The women’s race featured 25 different colleges and universities, with a field of 262 participants. The men’s race had 26 colleges and universities participate, with 290 athletes who took part.

Fullerton had four top 10 finishers in the women’s race, starting with senior Trinity Ruelas who wrapped up the race in second place individually with a time of 20:04.7. She finished just under six seconds behind first-place finisher and graduate of San Jose State, Jennifer Sandoval.

“We have a young team, but they certainly do not race like one. I am really excited to see how we perform at conference, and I just want to continue to contribute to the team as we will be sure to surprise people,” Ruelas said.

CSUF sophomore McKaylie Caesar ended in sixth place and clocked in at 20:51.7.

Titan freshman Mia Bergman came in eighth and junior Dana McGrath placed in ninth. The pair finished within two seconds of each other, at 20:56.6 and 20:58.1, respectively.

For the men’s squad, senior Sam Ayala led the team as he finished in fourth place with a time of 24:04.3

The next Titan to cross the finish line for the men’s squad was sophomore Alexis Garcia, who came in fifth place with a time of 24:10.1.

Senior Jacob Smith was the next finisher for the Titans with a time of 24.22.7, which landed him in 12th place in the individual rankings.

After the race, head coach Marques Barosso said, "Coach Tebbe is doing a great job peaking the athletes at the right time and we are looking forward to how the team performs at conference and regionals.”

Next up, Fullerton will host the Titan Invite on campus at the Titan Track Complex on Oct. 22, before competing in the start of the Big West championships on Oct. 29 at Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis, California.

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