SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton men's team finished in second place, while the women finished in fourth at the Mustang Challenge at Central Park in Santa Clarita, Calif., on Saturday morning. The Sacramento State women's cross country team finished in first place, while Cal State San Marcos garnered the top spot in the men's team standings.
The Cal State San Marcos men were led by fourth place finisher Enrique Ramirez in 26:05 over the 8k course. Sacramento State's Jacob Huston took the top spot recording a time of 25:46, while the Hornets finished in third as a team.
The Master's College's Karis Frankian earned the individual title in the women's 5k race, setting a mark of 17:53. Cal State San Marcos' Kate Bouvatte (18:12) and Sacramento State's Chloe Berlioux (18:24) rounded out the top-three.
Fullerton was second in the men's standings with 84 points. Sophomore Danny Ramirez finished second among collegians at 26:00 and was followed closely by sophomore Jose Penaloza in third with a time of 26:02. Senior Brandon Perry rounded out the top three participants at 26:37, good for 24th place overall. Five Titan men finished within the top-30 competitors.
Redshirt freshman Samuel Garcia also made his debut as a Titan, finishing the 8k course in 34th place, carding a time of 26:49.
"The men did a good job in working hard as a group to gain early position in the race," said head coach John Elders. "We just had too much of a gap between the second (Penaloza) and third runner (Perry), which was the difference between finishing second or taking the title."
The Titans were fourth in the women's scoring led by 14th place collegian Emily Taylor in 18:52. Senior Katie Bathgate was the next Titan finisher with a time of 19:02, finishing 21st overall. Coachella, Calif., native Ana Valdovinos rounded out the top three Titans concluding the invite in 22nd and crossing the line at 19:03. Four Fullerton women concluded the 5k course within the top-30 participants.
"The women also ran a solid race as we showed improvements from our last meet at the Mark Covert Classic," stated Elders. "Although we advanced our pace down the stretch, we'll look to improve our positioning early in competition. We certainly accomplished our goal of having a good second half of the race."
The Titans return to the course next week when they make a trip to San Bernardino, Calif., for the Coyote Classic at CSUSB's campus on Saturday, Sept. 27.