Fresno State will travel south this week for the Asics/UC Irvine Invitational, the first full-length race of the 2009 season Saturday.
Sept. 9, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. -
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UC Irvine Up Next
Fresno State's cross country teams head to southern California this week for the ASICS/UC Irvine Invitational. This will be the Bulldog's third consecutive appearance at the event after solid showings in both 2007 and 2008. Last season, Fresno State's men took sixth in the 8K, led by Erick Garcia's Top 5 finish. The women finished in 13th with Marissa McPhail as the team's top finisher. The women's 5K will take off first, with a start time of 8:40 a.m. The men will shoot off their 8K at 9:10 a.m. Both races will take a course that laps around the UC Irvine Anteater Recreation Center Field. This will be the team's first test of the regular racing distances of 5K for the women and 8K for the men.
Success at Season Opener
Fresno State's men's and women's teams debuted at the Nevada Twilight Friday in Sparks, Nev., finishing third and fourth, respectively. The races, marked at 4K and 6K, allowed the teams to feel out their legs in the first week of the season before hitting the more traditional distances of 5K and 8K. Roxanne Sellick led the women's race, easily winning the race by more than 10 seconds. Marissa McPhail joined Sellick in the Top 10. On the men's side, Bulldog underclassmen led the charge as freshman Danny Vartanian finished in the No. 1 spot for Fresno State, taking seventh overall. Eric Battles was just one tick back for eighth.
Sellick Stunning the Competition
Roxanne Sellick returned to cross country racing Friday at the Nevada Twilight after a redshirt season in 2008. The Fresno native returned ready to prove herself as a force to be reckoned with, as she dominated the 4K with a top time of 15:18. Sellick beat out 34 competitors from Stanford, Nevada, UC Irvine and Shasta College. On Tuesday, the Western Athletic Conference honored Sellick as the Women's Cross Country WAC Athlete of the Week. It was the first time Sellick had won the award for cross country, having won the honor for track and field on April 6, 2009.
Bulldog Newcomers Stepping Up
Cross country coach Sean McManus was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the team's newcomers at the Nevada Twilight. The five new harriers filled in four of the team's five scorers with the fifth finishing sixth on the team. Freshman Danny Vartanian had the team's top finish, taking seventh overall with a time of 20:42. Eric Battles, a sophomore and only non-newcomer in the team's Top 5, was just one second back at 20:43 for eighth. The team's third finisher, Paul Zwama, ran in his first cross country race for the `Dogs after competed in track and field for Fresno State this spring. Zwama crossed at 21:04 for 15th with freshman Carson Keller pacing him step for step to finish with the same time for 16th. Andrew Campbell and Michael Jamieson rounded out the team's newcomer finishes, taking 17th and 18th overall, fifth and sixth for the team.
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