The Week Ahead At Cal State Northridge

Sept. 14, 2008

The Week Ahead at Cal State Northridge
A walkon with the heart of an Olympic champion ... Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, offers his weekly insights on the accomplishments of the teams, coaches, and student-athletes who compete for Cal State Northridge ... For more information on CSUN Athletics, go to the new website of Matador Athletics, www.gomatadors.cstv.com

Track Talk
She may never win an Olympic gold medal, may never win an NCAA championship but mention sophomore distance runner Lilyana Morejon to head cross country coach Don Strametz, and he can talk for hours about her work ethic and dedication to her sport ... Strametz has coached numerous track & field champions during his many years at Cal State Northridge, but he beams with pride about the success of walkon student-athletes who were not recruited out of high school, bascially because they didn't show much potential to succeed at the major college level ... One day before the start of the school year in 2007, Morejon, a walkon from Burroughs High School in North Hollywood, walked into Strametz' office unannounced willing to work hard and be the best she could be at running, although the odds for succeeding were not in her favor ... Strametz didn't recruit Morejon, but was willing to take a chance on this unheralded distance runner knowing that she was willing to train and work hard to possibly become a valuable member of the Matador team ... Morejon ran only 22 minutes in the 5,000 meters in cross country and ran a 5:29 in the mile, times that just were not very impressive ... Even her times during her freshman season in cross country last year at CSUN were not very good ... However, things started to click in January of 2008 ... Morejon started running in the weekly All Comers meets which are bascially fund raisers for the Matador track & field team and a way for the team to get in a good weekly competitive workout ... Morejon started showing improvement and then began getting better times each week .... In early February, Morejon told Strametz that she wanted to be a dedicated runner and competitor ... Strametz was honest with his assessment of her running talents, telling this walkon that she was not a miler, maybe a distance runner, that she needed to change her diet and work extremely hard ... Morejon accepted the challenge ... Despite competing against runners that were highly recruited, on scholarship, and just more talented, Morejon finished fourth in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Big West Championships ... Her fourth place points helped the Matadors secure a third straight league title in a tight race over runnerup UC Riverside ... During the hot summer months, Morejon continued to train, elevating her dedication and running a sizable number of miles each day ... Did the hard work pay off? ... In the 2008 season opening cross country meet recently at UC Irvine, Morejon bettered her time in cross country by nearly four minutes to lead Matador runners ... "Lilyana made the commitment this summer to be prepared for the cross country season and it paid off," said Strametz .. "She has the potential with additional training to be a national championship competitor. She exhibits that with hard work and dedication, a walkon, non-recruited student-athlete can become a `diamond in the rough'. It doesn't make a difference what a coach tellsl you what to do. You have to want it yourself, and she definitely made the commitment to be the best she can possiblly be. It's an exciting time for her. Despite the fact she bettered her previous cross country time by nearly four minutes, she knows she could have done better, and she will work even harder to get better. That's impressive."

Internet Incidentals
One of the best features about CSUN's new website is the ability to download the media guides for each sport ... They are available to download for free at www.gomatadors.com ... Each book is a four-color publication that details the bios, stats, schedule, outlook, and history of the sport ... Available now are the women's volleyball, women's soccer, and men's soccer guides on those particularly sports pages ... And if you can't attend a Matador home event, the new website has Gametracker which gives Matador fans an immediate look at what is happening live during that particular sporting event .. Gametracker is available for men's and women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, and men's and women's soccer ... And most away games are also available on Gametracker via www.gomatadors.com or at the opponents home website.

Athletic Events THIS WEEK at Cal State Northridge

Monday, September 15 Men's Golf at Ron Moore Invitational (Denver, Co), All Day
Women's Golf at Mountain Shootout (Flagstaff, Az), All Day

Tuesday, September 16
Men's Golf at Ron Moore Invitational (Denver, Co), All Day
Women's Golf at Mountain Shootout (Flagstaff, Az), All Day
Women's Volleyball (5-4) vs UCLA, The Matadome, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, September 19
Women's Volleyball vs Texas State at Pepperdine Invitational, 5:00 p.m.
Women's Soccer (5-1) at Arizona State, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 20
Women's Volleyball at Pepperdine, 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, September 21
Women's Soccer at Arizona, 1:00 p.m.
Men's Soccer (3-3-0) vs Sacramento State, Matador Soccer Field, 2:30 p.m.

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