Six harriers finish among top 20 in last weekend's Watermelon Run.
Aug. 29, 2005
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FRESNO, Calif. -
CS Fullerton Invitational
The Fresno State cross country team officially opens its season this Sat., Sept. 3, at the CS Fullerton Invitational. The 5K run will be held at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton, Calif. The women's race will start at 9:15 a.m. An open and collegiate division meet, the invitational will recognize the top 10 individual finishers and the top two teams.
41st Annual Watermelon Run Recap
In a tune up for the upcoming cross country season, two Fresno State Bulldogs led the way and made their mark as well at the 41st Annual Watermelon Run last weekend at home. The two-mile women's run saw freshman local product Roxanne Sellick (Fresno, Calif.) capture the overall women's title with a time of 11:25 - five seconds off the school's freshman record set by Mary Kuphaldt in 1986. Junior Zinzi Evans (Oakland, Calif.) finished second overall with a time of 11:34. In addition, both Bulldogs also broke into the school's Top 25 All-Time 2-Mile list. Sellick posted the 15th-best time while Evans' mark ranks 20th. Fresno State also had four other `Dogs finish among the top 20 runners. Sophomore Marina Santana (Woodland Hills, Calif.) finished 13th overall with a time of 12:07. Last year, she set the school's 24th-best mark in the two mile and ran it at the Watermelon Run. Junior Valeria Delgado (Clovis, Calif.) placed 15th overall (12:13) while sophomore Patty Torres (Porterville, Calif.) and freshman Paloma Dominguez (Corcoran, Calif.) finished 16th (12:14) and 18th (12:29) overall, respectively.
There are five invitations on the schedule for the 2005 Fresno State cross country team. Starting this Saturday, the Bulldogs will compete at the CS Fullerton Invitational and the CS Stanislaus Invitational (Sept. 10) before having a bye week. The Bulldogs wrap up September at the 32nd Annual Stanford Invitational on the 24th - a meet that boasts 3,000 runners. Fresno State only has two meets in October with the UC Riverside Invitational (Oct. 1) and the Cal Poly Invitational (Oct. 15) before participating in the 2005 WAC Championship, which will be held Oct. 29 at the Eagle Island State Park in Boise, Idaho (Boise State, host). The NCAA Regionals will be held at Stanford's Golf Course on Nov. 12. The NCAA Championships, hosted by Indiana State, will take place on Nov. 21. Fresno State will be competing at the Stanford Invitational for the third consecutive season and ninth time in 10 years. In addition, it is making back-to-back appearances at the UC Riverside and Cal Poly Invitations.
Looking to Break Through
While the 2003 and 2004 seasons saw two Bulldogs crack the school's all-time 5K Top 25 list, Buckner will look to capture her first all-conference honors after finishing just two places out from a year ago. With a time of 18:18, she will have her eyes set on being the first 'Dog to go under the 18-minute mark in a season since Kara June (17:42, 11th all-time, 2003 Cal Poly Invitational). In fact June was the first harrier to break the 18-minute barrier since Nicole Kulikov clocked 17:28 at the 1997 WAC Championship hosted by Fresno State. In addition, Fresno State is looking to notch its first invitational winner since June captured a pair of titles in 2003. Buckner's closest opportunity happened last fall in the season-opener for Fresno State at the Bronco Invitational where she placed second with a time of 19:42.
Head Coach Joe Gonzales
In his first season as the head coach of the Fresno State women's cross country program, Joe Gonzales has been a longtime assistant with the Fresno State track program. Entering his sixth year as an assistant coach in charge of the distance runners, he also previously coached the Fresno State men's cross country program (2000-02). During his tenure as the men's cross country coach, Gonzales led the team to three top five finishes in the WAC, finishing fifth in 2001 and 2002 along with a third place finish in 2000. Four runners also received All-WAC honors during that time. Prior to entering his coaching career at Fresno State, Gonzales served as a coach at Exeter Union High School. He began his coaching career at Exeter, where he started as a volunteer assistant for the cross country team in 1990. In 1995, he became the head cross country coach for both the boys and girls programs. Gonzales then served as the head track & field coach at Exeter from 1998-2000. In his 10 years at Exeter, he led the girls' cross country team to five league championships and a section title and the girls' track and field team to two league crowns. He guided the boys' cross country team to a pair of league titles. Gonzales graduated from Fresno State with a degree in liberal studies (2001).
2004 in Review
Buckner stepped into the leading role last season and wrapped up her year by qualifying for her second NCAA Western Regional ... Placing 16th (18:35) at the 2004 WAC Championships, she was the Bulldogs' top harrier in the seven meets that she competed ... Jumped into the school's Top 25 list by running an 18:18 at the UC Riverside Invitational (No. 21) ... Had three top five finishes ... Lone Bulldog at the 2004 NCAA Western Regional, hosted by Fresno State for the 14th time ... By virtue of her Top 20 WAC finish, Buckner placed 57th overall out of 200 runners at the NCAA regional with a time of 18:35 (6K) ... The year prior, she placed 67th with a time of 22:23 ... Representing the WAC as well, she crossed the finish line as the third-fastest league runner ... Evans had a pair of runner-up finishes while setting a season-best time of 16:26 ... In the track and field season, set the school's freshman record in the 800 meters (2:08.93) ... At the WAC Championships, finished 35th (19:25) as the second Bulldog to cross the line ... As a team, Fresno State had its best finish with a 10th place showing out of 31 teams at the UC Riverside Invitational ... Lost senior veterans Nicolin Neal (19:17), who competed in six meets, Courtney Stewart (19:21), who also ran in six meets, and Andria Osteen (19:55), who competed in four meets ... Head coach Shannon Lieder stepped down after five years of service ... In her tenure, the Bulldogs finished eighth in the WAC three times and had a pair of top five finishes with fifth-place showings in 2001 and '03.