SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton men's team finished in second place, while the women finished in sixth at the Coyote Classic on the campus of Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday morning. Cal Poly Pomona swept both the men's and women's cross country invitational races.
The Cal Poly Pomona men were led by a whopping 12 student-athletes within the top-20 including the top-11 finishers to post an unbeatable 1-2-3-4-5 for 15 points. Mark Huizar headlined the race completing the 8k course in 25:34. Between Huizar's mark and the 11th Cal Poly Pomona finisher Garrett Pankratz (25:59), the large group at the front was separated by a mere 25 seconds.
Cal Poly Pomona's Lizette Huerta earned the individual title in the women's 6k race, setting a mark of 22:36. Cal State East Bay's Imani Heath (22:47) and unattached participant Rachel Naumann (22:59) rounded out the top-three.
Fullerton was second in the men's standings with 57 points. Junior Jeff Little finished 15th among collegians at 26:09 and was followed closely by fellow junior Donald Bernard in 17th with a time of 26:26. Senior Brandon Cook rounded out the top three participants at 26:37, good for 20th place overall. Four Titan men finished within the top-30 competitors.
"The course terrain was a little bit more difficult than what we were anticipating, but Jeff Little and Donald Bernard took a big step forward in their progression," stated Elders. "We began the race a little too conservative as Cal Poly Pomona set the tone and pace of the race from the get go."
The Titans were sixth in the women's scoring led by 38th place collegian Abby Buckoff in 24:56 on the 6k course. Sophomore Amanda Crissinger was the next Titan finisher with a time of 25:22, finishing 43rd overall. South Gate, Calif., native Pamela Pelayo rounded out the top-three Titans concluding the invite in 45th and crossing the line at 25:30. Four Fullerton women concluded the 6k course within the top-50 participants.
"The women struggled a bit with our fitness levels, but Abby Buckoff was able to pull out a good performance," stated Elders. "We'll look to get healthier as we train and prepare for the coming weeks."
The Titans return to the course next week when they travel to Lawrence, Kan., for the Rim Rock Farm Classic on Saturday, Oct. 4. Competition at the Rim Rock Farm will mark the first time in program history that the Titans have participated in the Kansas hosted meet.