TF Closes Strong at Baldy Castillo and UCI Spring Break Classic

Rasaun House. Credit Kirby Lee
Rasaun House. Credit Kirby Lee

FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton track and field wrapped up the weekend at the Baldy Castillo Invitational at Arizona State and the UCI Spring Break Classic with some strong performances, particularly for the men's sprinters and the women's middle-distance runners.

"Like any track meet we had some highs and lows, but overall we had some big improvements and strong performances, head coach John Elders said. "As I say every week, our goal is just to get better and find a groove and find our recipe for success is. So far, we have improved every week so we just need to keep it going."

In Tempe, Fullerton went 5-6 in the men's 100 meters with Rasaun House at 10.75 (-1.8 wind) and Mason Rollins at 10.76 (-1.8 wind). The Titans then went 2-3-4 in the 200 meters with House going 21.32 (-1.3 wind), Marcel Espinoza at 21.46 (+0.2 wind) and Parris Samaniego at 21.49 (+0.2 wind). Samaniego, House, Rollins and Espinoza combined to win the men's 4x100-meter relay with a time of 40.54. Samaniego, Chris Shiley, Charles Kelly and Espinoza also took second place in the 4x400-meter relay at 3:11.02.

"We got the baton a little bit behind at the final exchange but Marcel ran him down and out-leaned him at the end so that was exciting," Elders said."

Elani Rice was the top finisher for the Titans in the women's 100 meters with a time of 12.21 (+0.6 wind), good for a win in heat two and seventh place overall. She also was the leader for CSF in the 200 meters at 24.84 (-1.3 wind). Mia Franco clocked a 400-meter time of 56.99, good for eighth place overall and a personal best. 

After breaking her school record in the 1,500 meters on Friday, Huerta made her season debut in the 800 meters and won with a time of 2:08.24. 

"The race had a rabbit but she went out too fast at the beginning and didn't really help anybody but that's okay," Elders said. "She just out-kicked everybody at the end to get the win."

Sandra Flores took fourth place in the 800 meters with a personal-best time of 2:14.18.

"Sandra had a strong weekend, she had a PR in the 1,500m and then just missed her PR in the 800m," Elders said. "I'm feeling really good about where she's at right now."

Blake Rose led the Titans in the men's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.24. In the women's 400-meter hurdles, Karyn Best clocked a time of 63.91 to take fifth place.

Jelani Minix triple jumped 38-11.75 (11.88m, 0.0 wind), good for second place overall and a personal-best mark. She also cleared 5-5 (1.65m) in the high jump while Iesha Hamm posted a 5-7 (1.70m) clearance. On the men's side, Marcel Sylvester cleared 6-8.75 (2.05m) to lead the Titans. 

Sierra Valdivieso had a personal-best toss of 167-1 (50.93m) in the discus to take fifth place. That mark has her in the hunt to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries but Elders is confident she will improve throughout the season.

In Irvine, Jake Smith won the men's 1,500-meter race with a personal-best time of 3:50.22, the No. 2 time in school history in the event. Mariah Lark cleared 11-9.75 (3.60m) in the pole vault to take fourth place. 

Next up for the Titans is the UC Riverside Spring Classic on March 21-23.

Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.

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