Course Map (PDF)
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country squads travel to UC Riverside on Saturday for the second time this season as the Ag/Ops Course will host the 2015 Big West Cross Country Championships for the seventh time in the last eight years.
THE COURSE: From gohighlanders.com: The Ag/Ops Course is located adjacent to campus on the 420-acre Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station on the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Canyon Crest Drive. The course is 85% flat with a few rolling hills, hard packed dirt with pre-competition watering to reduce dust.
TICKETS: $5 per person. Children age 3 and under are free.
THE FIELD: Competing alongside the Titans will be the eight other Big West foes in Cal Poly, CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and Hawai'i.
FORMAT: Nine participants per team with first five finishers counted towards scoring. The next two participants shall displace finishers from other teams.
RESULTS: Results available online at finishedresults.com and the cross country page of fullertontitans.com.
LAST YEAR'S MEET: The2014 Big West Championships were hosted in Riverside, and it suited the Titans well as both the men and women concluded the championship in fifth-place, respectively, paced by senior Tejera Dial, while sophomore Jose Penaloza led the men's contingent. For the women, Fullerton's fifth-place score (149 points), was just two points shy of the 2013 season, which marked the best finish for the program since tying for fourth in 2008. For the men, the Titans' fifth-place finish matched the best for the program since 2006 when Fullerton recorded a fifth-place score in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Penaloza led the Titan squad, completing the 8K course in a time of 24:43.5. His 14th place tally was the best Titan finish at a conference meet since 2006 when Jordan Horn (26:29.0) posted a 10th place mark.
ABOUT THE BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Fullerton will make its second appearance of the season on the Ag/Ops Course after previously participating in the Highlander Invitational on Oct. 17. Saturday will mark the seventh time in the last eight seasons that UC Riverside has hosted the league meet. The course in the Inland Empire also has a rich history. Developed for the 1979 NCAA Division II National Championships, the course has since hosted the annual premier UC Riverside Invitational as well as numerous conference and regional championships. The site hosted the Big West Championships in 2002, 2004-05, 2008-12, and returned again in 2014.
TITAN HISTORY AT THE BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP: In 1993, the Cal State Fullerton men's cross country team finished second in the team competition – the best finish in program history as the meet was held in Fullerton. In addition, in 1992 and 1993, Mike Tansley captured two Individual Big West Championships – the only Big West titles for the Titans in the Division I era. For the past three seasons, the Titan men have bettered their team performance each year finishing seventh in 2012, sixth in 2013 and fifth in 2014.
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. Since then, Grace Gonzaes' ninth-place finish in a time of 20:42 in 2008 has marked the best for Fullerton. Since the move to a 6k course in 2003, the Titans have finished in fourth twice (2005, 2008), and for the last two years have crossed the finish line in fifth.
A LOOK AT THE 2015 TITANS: Junior Jose Penaloza has led Cal State Fullerton's men's cross country team across the finish line in each of its four meets this season. The native of Garden Grove, Calif., has recorded three top-10 finishes as he looks to lead the Titan men at the Big West Championship on Saturday for the second straight season. Redshirt sophomore Joe Casco and seniors Tim Reed and Jeff Little have showed consistency throughout the year, while freshman Sam Pimentel produced the best race of his career thus far at the Highlander Invitational on Oct. 17. On the women's side, senior Emily Taylor and junior newcomer Sierra Ungerman have been Fullerton's two top finishers in 2015. Each has recorded three top-20 finishes this season, while juniors Pamela Pelayo and Stephanie Ruiz have also displayed stability.
LONGEST-TENURED COACH: As the 2015 season is underway, cross country and track and field head coach John Elders enters his 28th 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 is coach of cross country, women's indoor track and field, and men's and women's outdoor track and field.
UP NEXT: The University of Washington cross country program will host the 2015 NCAA West Regional on Friday, November 13 at Jefferson Park Golf Course. Over thirty men's and women's cross country teams, every top squad in the West, will be on hand to race for a spot on the starting line of the NCAA Championships. The women will race first at 12:00 PM, competing over 6,000-meters. The men's race will begin at 1:00 PM and cover 10,000-meters. Jefferson Park Golf Course consists of multiple 2k loops on flat fairways crossing some cart paths. The course was the site of the 2010 Pac-10 Championships, the USATF Club Nationals, the NCAA West Regional Championships in 2012, and the Washington Invitational beginning in 2014. Spikes are recommended for competition.