The Matador men’s and women’s cross country teams started their season Sept. 10 at the Irvine Invitational, located at Central Park in Huntington Beach.
The event consisted of 12 collegiate men’s teams and 17 collegiate women’s teams. The men’s event was a 7,000-meter race and the women’s was a 5,000. Don Strametz coaches both the men’s and women’s teams, along with track and field.
For the men, CSUN finished the invitational in 10th place with a total time of 2:04:28.4, nearly 12 minutes off the winning college, Chico State. Cal State Long Beach and UC Santa Barbara rounded out the top three.
Returning sophomore Manuel Ruiz was the top finisher for the Matadors, crossing the finish line in 22nd place (23:32.1). Chico State runner Scotty Barns took the tape, finishing a mere five seconds before teammate Charlie Serrano with a time of 22:14.0.
Chico State managed to take six of the top seven finishing positions to easily claim the victory for the men.
Matador senior Damian Mendoza completed the event, crossing the line in 46th place (24:19.5). Teammates Jonathan Tan, Daniel Clements, and P J Rice all finished amongst the last 20 competitors.
The Matador men’s team was projected to finish last place (7) in the 2005 Big West cross country preseason poll.
In the women’s event, the Matadors finished in 12th place, with an overall time of 1:44.34. The team was 11 minutes off the winning college, also Chico State, who finished the race with a time of 1:33:24.2.
Host team, UCI, finished in 2nd position followed closely by Cal State Long Beach, who was edged by just over one minute.
Senior runner Liz Camy crossed the finish line in 8th place (18:46.0). Camy placed as the top Matador runner in six of seven meets last season, including a 22nd place finish at the Big West Championships.
The next closest Matador was junior Marianne Gerry who placed 73rd (20:34.8). Glendale college transfer Julia Flores came across in 88th place (20:52.8). Ashley Cambaliza, Zenaida Morales, Susan Campbell, and Dawn Tupper all finished the race, over 100th place.
The women’s team was projected to place 6th in the 2005 Big West cross country preseason poll.
The two teams next event will be in Malibu on Sept. 24 at 9a.m.
Matt Osias can be reached at email@example.com.