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Cross Country

Titan Invitational Wraps Up Regular Season Schedule


Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 8


The final weekend of the cross country regular season is upon us this weekend, giving the clubs the final opportunity to prepare for next weekend’s Big West Championships.

The lone meet on the schedule is the Titan Invitational, a Cal State Fullerton hosted meet that will take place on the school campus. Long Beach State, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara are scheduled to compete alongside CSF in the meet, which features a men’s 8K and a women’s 5K.


• The Highlander Invitational a week ago saw some outstanding performances by Big West athletes. In the men’s race, CSUN senior Michael Merchan shined brightest among his conference peers. Merchan was the top finisher from a Big West school in the 8K race, crossing the line in 24:33.3. His time topped the next closest competitor from a conference rival by 11 seconds.

The top Big West finisher in the women’s 5K race was Samantha Huerta from Cal State Fullerton. Huerta put up a time of 17:03.4 in the race, good for third overall and the top time of any collegian in the race. Huerta’s efforts led the Titans to the team title, easily outdistancing New Mexico State, 29-84. CSF recorded four scoring positions in the top 10 and six finishes in the top 15.

The Invitational acted as a Big West preview of sorts as Long Beach State, UC Irvine and homestanding UC Riverside all competed. The Beach showed a long layoff didn’t affect them much as the men finished in third and the women in eighth. The hosts also had strong showings as the women wrapped up the day in sixth and the men in fourth.

• Cal Poly ran in a pair of loaded fields last weekend as the club competed in the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals. The meet attracted a who’s who of cross country clubs to the site of the 2018 NCAA Championships in mid-November.

The women’s team took 14th in the 6K, led by junior Katie Izzo’s 50th place showing with a time of 21:13.3. The Mustang men picked up a 15th place finish in the 8K field. Junior Evan Jameson was their top finisher with a 44th-place performance in 24:36.6.

• UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara each had solid results at the Bronco Invitational last weekend. The Aggie women finished in 10th in the 24 team 6K field, led by junior Sarah Anderson’s 23rd place finish in 20:59.2. The Gaucho men saw junior Daniel Mountcastle lead the way in 15th place, finishing the 8K in 24:16.1. His effort led UCSB to a seventh place spot in the field of 20.

• Cal State Fullerton returns to the spotlight this year as the Titans will host the Big West Championship. This marks the first time CSF has hosted the league meet since 1997 and for the fourth time overall. The conference showdowns will take place at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea on October 27 with the men’s 8K slated for 8:45 a.m. and the women’s 6K commencing at 9:30 a.m.

• The regional rankings heading into the final regular season weekend has familiar and new faces for the Big West. Cal Poly has the 8th ranked women and 10th ranked men. New to the regional list on the women’s side is Cal State Fullerton, checking in at #13.


The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s.  All season long, the Big West Conference will celebrate the history of all conference sports.  Join us as we pay homage to the student-athletes, coaches, staffs, communities and fans who have helped pave the way.

• Vince O’Boyle ran one of the most successful programs in Big West history, the UC Irvine women’s cross country team. O’Boyle was at the helm of the program from 1982-2013, shepherding the program from independent to Big West power. He won 12 league titles, 12 Coach of the Year honors and coached 12 Athlete of the Year recipients. All of those achievements are the most by a coach in Big West history.

• UC Irvine established the first dynasty in women’s cross country history, winning the first five titles and nine of the first 10. The 1984 Anteater squad is also the only team in Big West women’s cross country Championship history to post a perfect score of 15. In all, UCI won 11 of the first 20 titles in league history.

Humble Beginnings: A Dynasty Born From Opportunity


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