FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country teams will be competing at the Big West Championships this Saturday in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The championships will be held at Fairbanks Memorial Cross Country Course, and will be begin at 9:45 a.m. for the men's 8K, with the women's 6K starting at 10:40 a.m.
THE COURSE: Fairbanks Memorial is a hilly course with a lot of twists and turns, and it is located across the street from Cuesta College off of Highway 1. It is very different from the flatter type layout the schools have been used to at the UCR Agricultural Operations Course.
THE FIELD: All nine Big West schools; Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and Hawai'i will be competing.
RESULTS: Complete results and a recap will be posted on Fullertontitans.com. Information can be found on BigWest.org, or by following the FlashWest site.
LAST WEEK AT THE TITAN INVITAIONAL: The Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country teams finished fifth and ninth, respectively, at the Titan Invitational last Friday.
On the men's side, senior Brian Aleman was the first Titan to cross the finish line for the men's team, completing the 8K course in a time of 25:37.1 as he finished 25th overall and 15th amongst collegiate competitors to record his fastest time of the year. He was followed by freshman Christian Eagon's personal best time, as he completed the race in 38th place (21 collegiate) in a time of 26:04.3.
Freshman Joe Casco completed the race in 40th place (23rd collegiate) in a time of 26:06.6 to also record a personal best.
Top 3 Men's Finishers at Titan Invitational
Name Overall Finish Points Time
Brian Aleman 25th 15 25:37.1
Christian Eagon 38th 21 26:04.3
Joe Casco 40th 23 26.06.6
Top 3 Women's Finishers at Titan Invitational
Name Overall Finish Points Time
Jessica Feuerstine 63rd 49 19:51.8
Tristanie Bjazevich 64th 50 19:53.3
TITANS LINEUP FOR SATURDAY (with last year's Big West finish, if applicable)
Overall Finish Points Time
- Gilbert Solorza Did not compete
- Jayson Perez 43rd 39 26:21.0
- Sean Graham Did not compete
- Brandon Perry 51st 45 27:17.5
- Jeff Little 45th 40 26:30.8
- Jose Penaloza Did not compete
- Donald Bernard 37th 33 26:00.3
- Daniel Ramierz Did not compete
- Kevin Russell D id not compete
Overall Finish Points Time
- Katie Bathgate 21st 21 21:13.3
- Sara Taylor Did not compete
- Arianna Fuentes Did not compete
- Anna Valdovinos Did not compete
- Tijerra Lynch 57th 50 22:34.5
- Emily Taylor Did not compete
- Celinda Manzo 70th 23:31.5
- Amanda Crissinger Did not compete
- Abby Buckhoff Did not compete
LAST YEAR AT THE BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Both Cal State Fullerton squads finished in seventh place at the 2012 Big West Conference Championships. The top Titan finishers were Katie Bathgate for the women, and Anthony Castellon on the men's side.
ABOUT THE BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: After five consecutive seasons, the Big West Cross Country Championship has moved from Riverside to San Luis Obispo. Fairbanks Cross Country Course is the same site that hosted the event in 2007.
ON THE HORIZON: Following the Big West cross country championships, Cal State Fullerton will next compete at the NCAA West Regional Championships to be held in Sacramento, Calif., and hosted by Sacramento State University on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.
TITAN HISTORY AT THE BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP: In 1992 and 1993, Mike Tansley led the Titans to two Individual Big West Championships. In 1993, the CSF men's cross country team finished second in the team competition. On the women's side, the program's best finish has been third, twice, coming in 1992 and 1993. Beginning in 2003, the women's championship was moved to compete on 6K courses. Last season, Katie Bathgate finished with the fourth best individual mark for Fullerton at the Big West Championship. She finished with a final time of 21:13.30.
BIG WEST HONOR FOR TITAN: Junior Katie Bathgate claimed the Big West Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors on Oct. 1. Bathgate is the first Titan to earn weekly honors this season.
TITAN MEN FINISH THIRD AGAIN THIS SEASON: The Cal State Fullerton's men's team finished third at the Highlander Invitational, for the third time this season. The Titans finished with a point total of 78, trailing only Wyoming (1st, 18 points) and UC Irvine (2nd, 45 points). Fullerton's other two third-place finishes came at the CSUSB Invite on Sept. 28, and at the Fresno Invitational on Sept. 14.
TITAN RUNNER LEADS THE WAY: Katie Bathgate has led the Titan women three times this season. Most recently at the Highlander Invitational (Oct. 19) the other two occurrences were at the Inter-Region Jamboree (Oct. 4) and the CSUSB Invite (Sept. 28).
FRESHMEN MAKING AN IMPACT: Gilbert Solorza recorded the fastest times for the Titan men in the first four races of the season. At the Mark Covert Classic, Solorza, a native of Buena Park, Calif., ran a 25:53.5 8k, which was 18 seconds faster than the next Titan finisher, and at the Fresno Invitational, he ran a 20:02.9 four-mile course. Solorza finished sixth (first among Titans) at the Mustang Challenge with a time of 25:15:15 and at the Inter-Region Jamboree, he finished with a time of 24:46 in the 8k race. Freshman Joe Casco led the Titans with a fifth-place finish at the CSUSB Invite, clocking a time of 26:48.7.
FIRST PLACE FINISH FOR TITAN WOMEN: Junior Katie Bathgate led the Titans with a first-place performance, completing the 6k course at the CSUSB Invite with a time of 22:30.9. The first-place finish for the women was the programs first since winning the Northridge Invite on Oct. 16, 2009.
TITAN MEN FINISH SEOND: The Titan men recorded a second-place finish at the Mustang Challenge, which was the team's best finish since Sept. 3, 2011 when the team placed second at the Asics Season Opener.
LONGEST-TENURED COACH: Cross country and track and field head coach John Elders enters his 26th season at the helm of each program making him the longest tenured head coach in the history of Cal State Fullerton.
Elders was tied with former fencing head coach Heizaburo Okawa (1982-2006) and former men's soccer coach Al Mistri (1981-2005) for 25 years of service at Fullerton. The Orange County native coaches cross country, women's indoor track and field, and men's and women's outdoor track and field, and is one of three current Titan head coaches who have graduated from Cal State Fullerton joining men's soccer head coach Bob Ammann and women's soccer head coach Demian Brown.