FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's and women's cross country will travel to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational. The race will take place at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The men's competition is set to begin at 9:10 a.m. PT and the women are to start at 10:15 a.m. PT. The Titans are sending five student-athletes to compete at the Mustang Challenge in Santa Clarita this weekend as well.
The competition will feature the host Minnesota Gophers as well as Creighton, Drake, Duke (Men Only), Harvard, Minnesota, Montana State, Navy (Men Only), North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Rice (Women Only), South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Illinois.
"The course is going to be the toughest course the men and women run this year," head coach John Elders said. "The whole thing is basically rolling hills. Also, the weather could be a factor us Californians. It is supposed to be in the low 50s, which is good for distance running but it can be a bit chilly for us."
Samuel Pimentel and Jacob Smith will be looking to lead the way for the Titans as they finished fourth and fifth respectively in the UCSB Lagoon 8,000-meter race. (Sep. 15). The Titans will be looking to take a step forward as they will have Anthony Alfaro and Josh Silva make their debuts.
"For the men, we are close to full strength," Elders said. "Anthony Alfaro and Josh Silva are making their debuts so that is a big lift for us. This should be our strongest men's squad of the season. We're excited to have those guys and put our best foot forward at Roy Griak."
The women look to keep momentum rolling as they finished in first place last time out at the UCSB Lagoon. The women will continue to be led by Trinity Ruelas and Lucina Vincent who were the top two finishers for the Titans in their last race.
"We're still not at 100% on the women's side but we do have Samantha Huerta back to make her season debut," Elders said. "That's a bonus but unfortunately Wendi Leos and Sandra Flores will not be competing. Despite that, I think we have a very deep team and we just need a few of them to step up again like they have the other two meets this season. Our team is formidable and I expect them to compete at a high level this weekend."
Six student-athletes return to the men's squad that also took third place at the 2017 Big West Championships. The 2018 squad will be led by Pimentel, Smith and junior Jorge Sanchez. Pimentel was very consistent in 2017 as he was a top-three finisher for the Titans in each race. Smith finished out the year on a high note as he was the No. 2 Titan finisher at the conference championships and he led the team at the NCAA West Regional.
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