Matadors Open With Successful Meet at Asics/Fullerton Invitational

BREA, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge men's and women's cross country teams opened up the 2011 season Saturday at the Asics/Fullerton Invitational at Carbon Canyon Park.

The race marked the first as head coach for former Matador track & field assistant coach Avery Anderson as well as assistant Quincy Watts and the CSUN runners performed well.

"We had a positive day today," said Anderson. "For the first race of the season, and with an earlier start date than we've had in the past, it was a good start."

In the women's 6k run, sophomore Fany Alvarado had the best Northridge finish as she placed 14th in a time of 23:15.7. Alvarado's time is already faster than she ran at the Big West Championships last fall. Yvonne Castillo-Urbina was just behind Alvarado in 31st-place in a time of 23:41.6 which was also better than her conference performance last year. Also for the women's squad, Ana Rosales finished 71st in a time of 24:50.9, Araceli Zainos finished 118th in a time of 25:52.9 and Shane Mullany-Banks was 143rd in a time of 26:30.8. Mullany-Banks made her debut for the cross country team after competing for the track & field team in the spring. Annalise Lopez finished 146th in 26:39.2 while Jasmine Cox, also a track & field standout, was 190th (29:27.0) in her cross country debut.

In the men's 8k, senior Cesar Lopez was the Matadors' top finisher as he ran well placing 54th in a time of 27:00.7. Julio Mora and Tawei Ma also ran well finishing 140th and 157th respectively. Mora ran 28:33.4 and Ma clocked a time of 28:56.8. Freshman Ezekial Glass competed in his first collegiate race and finished in 163rd-place in a time of 28:59.0. Junior Hunter Hays also competed for Northridge but did not finish the race due to a recurring injury.

"We're pumped up after this meet," added Anderson. "We shook off some rust and got the juices flowing again. We still have a lot of work to do, but this team has come in with a lot of heart and is determined to work hard. We came away from the meet headed in the right direction."

CSUN's next meet is next Saturday, Sept. 10 as the Matadors compete at the Asics/UC Irvine Invitational.