BREA, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton's men's cross country team finished second paced by Jose Penaloza's fourth-place time at the annual Mark Covert Classic at Carbon Canyon Regional Park on Saturday morning in the season-opening meet for the Titans.
Fullerton's women's cross-country team finished fourth as Emily Taylor's 5k time of 18:39.93 was good for sixth.
In the men's 8k race, Penaloza was the top Titan finisher, crossing the line in fourth (third collegiate) with a time of 25:18.93. He was followed by Jeff Little in 15th place (25:56.07), freshman Sam Pimentel in 23rd (26:09.00), redshirt sophomore Joe Casco in 29th (26:21.48), redshirt senior Tim Reed in 31st (26:25.94), freshman Anthony Alfaro in 40th (26:38.58) and junior Martin Montes in 51st (27:05.54) as the last Titan to score.
The men last finished second at the Covert Classic in 2013, and Penaloza's time marked the second best 8k time of his Titan career, and for the fourth time in his career, he was the top Titan finisher.
Jack Polerecky of Loyola Marymount placed first with a time of 25:13.15 as the Lions won the meet with a total of 32 points and four top-10 finishers. Cal State Fullerton (81), Mt. SAC (89) College of the Canyons (96) and San Diego (119) rounded out the top five. This was the third win for LMU in the last four years.
Taylor's time of 18:39.93 in the women's 5k was good for sixth as the senior was the top Titan finisher for the ninth time in her career. In addition, during her career, Taylor has led the Fullerton women at the Covert Classic as a freshman, junior and senior.
Following Taylor, junior Sierra Ungerman finished 19th (19:12.47), junior Pamela Pelayo finished 26th (19:22.20), freshman Stephanie Cortez came in 35th (19:36.92), junior Stephanie Ruiz in 37th (19:38.88), junior Nisreen Rizk in 41st (19:50.50) and Emily Ruiz in 58th (20:27.75) as the final Titan to score.
San Diego State was the top team on the women's side with 26 points and five top-10 finishes followed by Loyola Marymount (40 pts.), San Diego (88 pts.), Cal State Fullerton (112 pts.) and Glendale Community College (145 pts.)
San Diego State last won the Covert Classic in 1988, and LMU had the top finisher for the fourth straight year as junior Kayla de Bondt crossed the line in first with a time of 17:48.79.
Fullerton returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Mustang Challenge in Santa Clarita, Calif.