BREA, Calif. – For the first time since 2007, the Cal State Fullerton women's cross country team took home the crown at the Mark Covert Classic on Saturday morning at Carbon Canyon Regional Park.
"This was a great way to kick-off our season," coach John Elders said. "I'm really proud of how our team worked together and how they competed. The early success is great and this is something we can build on."
The Titan women put together a complete team effort as five of them finished in the top 15 to collect a total score of 41 points, being only three points shy of the program-record (38 points) in 1987.
Samantha Huerta was the top-finisher for the Titans as she completed the course with a time of 18:12.9 to place third. Brianna Jacklin wasn't too far behind Huerta as she finished just six seconds after her (18:18.9) to place sixth.
Sierra Ungerman, Stephanie Ruiz and Sandra Flores would close out the top 15 for Fullerton as the trio of Titans runners all completed the course within seven seconds of each other. Ungerman placed seventh (18:30.6), Ruiz was right behind her with a time of 18:31.0 to place eighth and Flores finished the race in 18:37.3 to place ninth among DI schools.
On the men's side, the Titans earn a runner-up finish with a score of 61 at the Mark Covert Classic for the second-straight season as they destroyed their score from last season by 20 points.
Jose Penaloza recorded his highest finish ever at the Mark Covert Classic as the junior placed first with a time of 25:01.0.
Titan Jason Hillquist also had a personal best at the Mark Covert Classic by completing the course in 25:14.6 to place second giving Fullerton the top two runners among college runners.
Rounding out the men's side, Sam Pimentel finished with a time of 25:29.6 to finish fifth, Joe Casco made it to the top 25 by placing ninth (25:49.9), Freek Van de Weerd had a time of 26:12.8 in his first race as a Titan to place 16th and Gabe Toscano was the final Fullerton runner in the top 20 by finishing 19th among colleges (26:17.5).
Up next for the Cal State Fullerton Cross Country is the San Diego Invite in Mission Bay, Calif. at Tecolote Shores North Park on Sept. 17. Parking is free for the event.
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