Riverside, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton's freshman Emily Taylor ran a 21:04.4 6-kilometer race and finished 12th overall to pace the Titan men and women at the UC Riverside Cross Country Invitational at UCR's Farm Course Saturday morning.
Taylor was third among Big West Conference runners behind third-place finisher Riverside's Damajeria Dubose (20:33.4) and fourth-place runner Dani Moreno (20:44.2) of UC Santa Barbara. Southern Utah's Jamie Smith finished the course at a 20:30.6 clip to finish first.
Women's Results: PDF
"It was a really strong performance today from Emily," said 24th-year Head Coach John Elders. "I am really impressed with how hard she worked this summer and the fitness level she has attained. It's nice to see her enjoying the fruits of her labor with an effort like today."
Elders was also pleased with sophomore Katie Bathgate, who finished 31st overall. Her time of 21:45.4 was nearly four minutes better – and in much warmer weather – than her best time on the course last year at the Big West Championships.
"Katie has really committed herself this summer. She's in great shape and has taken her running to a new level," said Elders. "Overall it was real positive for the women today."
The men, on the other hand, struggled to find success.
Sophmore Marco Zaragoza had the best time in the men's 8K at 25:34.4, but that was good for just 40th place. Southern Utah's Ryan Barrus won the race with a time of 24:08.6.
Men's Results: PDF
"The men just didn't have the kind of performance we were looking for today," said Elders. "We were hoping to improve on our performance at the Mark Covert Classic and didn't quite get it done this week.
"Our top three guys have all run significantly faster on this course, so we're going to need to make some adjustments in our training. I'm still very optimistic about these guys, we've just got to get it together.
Sophomore Jason Perez (25:37.8) and junior Anthony Castellon (25:45.7) finished 43rd and 52nd, respectively.