Women’s TF Wins First Big West Championship

Samantha Huerta. Credit Lloyd Sicard
Samantha Huerta. Credit Lloyd Sicard

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton track and field had an outstanding day on Saturday with the women's team claiming the first Big West Championship in program history while the men's team earned a runner-up finish, broke two school records and tied another.

The women's squad tallied 129.5 points to earn the victory while UC Santa Barbara had 123 in second. Cal Poly had 118 points in third place.

The men's team could not complete their three-peat as they earned a runner-up finish with 151 points. Long Beach State won the title with 169.5 points while UC Davis finished in third at 117.5 points.

Samantha Huerta became the first Titan to ever win the Big West title in the women's 1,500-meter race as she clocked a time of 4:30.66 to secure the victory. Huerta also became the first Titan to double in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters as she successfully defended her 800-meter title with a time of 2:04.81, just off her school-record time of 2:04.33.

Sandra Flores also scored for the women's team in both the 1,500 meters and 800 meters with respective times of 4:34.29 (sixth place) and 2:09.50 (fourth place).

For the fourth straight year, Fullerton won the men's 4x100-meter relay title. Marquis Rogers, Rasaun House, Mason Rollins and Marcel Espinoza started the track events off with a win for the Titans, clocking a time of 40.55 to win comfortably. On the women's side, the quartet of Alayah Byers, Elani Rice, Mariah Stewart and Hailey Murdica clocked a season-best time of 46.25 to earn a runner-up finish.

Rollins then won the 100 meters (10.49, -0.4 wind) and 200 meters (20.92, -0.5 wind) to secure his second and third titles of the day. Both of those are personal-best times and his 20.92 mark ties Thaddeus Smith's school record set in 2016. Rollins is the third Titan in the last four years to win the 100 meters and the second in the last three years to win the 200 meters. He's the first Titan to ever double in the 100 and 200 meters.

In that same 200-meter race, Espinoza took second place with a personal-best time of 21.13 (-0.5 wind). House also had a PR in third place with a time of 21.25. Samaniego's time of 21.85 was good for seventh place.

House also took fifth place in the 100-meter sprint with a time of 10.70 (-0.4 wind) while Rogers clocked a time of 10.99 for seventh place.

Espinoza went on to break his own school record in the men's 400-meter sprint to win the title in 45.87, besting his previous personal best of 46.13. He is just the third Titan to ever win the league title in the event, joining Darion Zimmerman (2016, 2017) and Chris Epstein (2007). He is only the second conference meet winner all-time to run a sub-46 second race (Boise State's Corey Nelson, 45.36, 1999). Chris Shiley also scored for the men's squad, taking sixth place with a time of 47.93.

Fullerton then won the men's 4x400-meter relay title for the first time since 2002, posting a school-record time of 3:08.48. Samaniego, House, Shiley and Espinoza smashed the previous record of 3:09.67 set in 2016. And on the women's side, Morgan Love, Zuri Henderson, Mia Franco and Elani Rice took third place in the 4x400-meter relay with a season-best time of 3:42.47.


Jake Smith took fourth place in the men's 1,500-meter race with a time of 3:53.50. Erick Juarez's time of 1:54.08 was good for sixth place in the men's 800 meters. Jorge Sanchez clocked a personal-best time of 14:40.17 in the men's 5K to take third place overall. Anthony Alfaro finished in sixth place with a personal-best time of 14:49.27. Trinity Ruelas' 5K time of 17:14.58 was good for fifth place overall.

Charles Kelly took seventh place in the men's 110-meter hurdles at 14.47 (-0.5 wind). Later in the afternoon, Kelly earned a runner-up finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 51.95. Diego Courbis took fourth place with a season-best time of 52.11.

On the women's side, Kyra Anderson took sixth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.22 (-0.1 wind) while Mariah Stewart was in seventh at 14.32. In the women's 400 meters, Zuri Henderson's time of 56.44 was good for sixth place overall. Elani Rice took eighth place in the 100 meters at 12.12 (-0.1 wind) and seventh in the 200 meters with a time of 24.29 (+1.2 wind).

Kyle Beck and Ernesto Collazo each cleared 15-9.25 (4.81m) in the men's pole vault. Beck tied for fourth place to score four points while Collazo scored a point in eighth place.

Marcel Sylvester tied for third place in the men's high jump with a clearance of 6-8.75 (2.05m) while Jahni Newhauser's was tied for eighth at 6-4.75 (1.95m).

Sela Pastrana had a personal-best mark of 40-7 (12.37m, +0.2 wind) to take fourth place in the triple jump. Onyx Gaston finished in sixth at 39-4 (11.99m, +1.1 wind). Brandon McLaurin had a triple jump mark of 48-4.75 (14.75m, +0.5 wind) to take fifth place overall on the men's side.

Sinai Fatafehi took sixth place in the women's hammer throw with a toss of 175-11 (53.62m).

Next up for the Titans is the NCAA West Preliminaries in Sacramento on May 23-25.

Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at athletictixs@fullerton.edu. 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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