Bulldogs are making eighth team appearance in 11 years.
Nov. 9, 2005
FRESNO, Calif. -
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Fresno State at NCAA West Regionals This Week
The Fresno State cross country team will compete at the 2005 NCAA West Regionals on Sat., Nov. 12, 12:15 p.m., at Stanford University. The 6K race will be held at the Stanford Golf Course, a course in which the Bulldogs ran earlier in the year when they participated in the Stanford Invitational. The Bulldogs qualified for the NCAA's after finishing tied for fifth at the 2005 Western Athletic Conference Championship last month. Fresno State last qualified as a team in 2003 when the Bulldogs finished 18th out of 31 in the NCAA West Region hosted by San Jose State.
Bulldogs in the NCAA Regionals
Qualifying for NCAA Regionals as a team for the seventh time in 11 years, Fresno State's best finish since 1995 was 10th out of 29 teams in 1996. In 1996 the Bulldogs were led by Danielle Nelson, who clocked a 5K time of 17:50 for a 25th place showing. Individually in the last 10 years, the best 5K time and overall finish by a Bulldog was recorded by Nicole Kulikov (1997, 10th, 17:43). With the NCAA Regional going to a 6K time in 2000, the 'Dogs best finish was 18th out of 31 teams in 2003. Kara June led the way when she ran 21:45 to finish 36th overall.
Buckner Garner All-WAC Honors
Junior Andrea Buckner (Yorba Linda, Calif.) garnered her first career All-WAC honors after finishing eighth at the 2005 WAC Championship on Oct. 29. Buckner ran a time of 18:12.9 and was a second team honoree. Buckner is the first Bulldog to be all-league since 2003 and became the program's ninth All-WAC selection since 1992.
Buckner Among Top 10 Bulldogs
Buckner became the sixth Bulldog to finish among the WAC's top 10 runners as well as posting the seventh-fastest WAC championship time by a Bulldog at the 2005 WAC Cross Country Championship. Danielle Nelson owns the best finish (4th, 1995) while Nicole Kulikov owns the best time (17:28, 1997) by a Bulldog at a WAC championship. And, for the third time, Bucker is Fresno State's top runner in back-to-back WAC championship seasons, joining Nelson (1995-96) and June (2002-03).
'Dogs History at WAC Championship
In the WAC Cross Country Championships, Fresno State has finished among the top five five times since 1992. The Bulldogs best finish was fourth place in 1995. They also have four fifth-place showings (2005, '03, '01 and 1994). In 1995, Nelson had the best overall individual finish by a Bulldog (4th, 18:05). Other top 10 individual WAC finishes were recorded by Buckner (8th, 18:12.9, 2005), Kulikov (5th, 17:28, 1997), June (6th, 17:43, 2003), Kelly Jacobson (6th, 17:52, 1994) and Dina Farage (9th, 17:59, 1992).
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 '02 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 bachelor of science degree in liberal studies.
Gonzales at WAC Championships
While Gonzales is in his first year as the Fresno State head women's cross country coach, he is not a stranger to WAC Championship appearances. Gonzales coached the Bulldog men's program for three years and guided it to three top five conference finishes, including a third-place showing in 2000. In 2000 Fresno State had three runners finish among the top 12 as all three garnered All-WAC accolades. Also, in 2001 and 2002, the Bulldogs had two more all-conference honorees. On Oct. 29, Gonzales coached his first female All-WAC cross country runner in Buckner. With a fifth-place finish at the 2005 WAC Championship, Gonzales has had four consecutive top five finishes while coaching six cross country All-WAC performers.
2005 WAC Championship In Review
The Fresno State cross country team did not win a conference crown but it did reach its collective goal at the 2005 Western Athletic Conference Championship when the Bulldogs tied for fifth place in the nine-team field. The Bulldogs and Nevada tallied 131 points to share fifth place as the 2005 WAC Championship title went to league newcomer Idaho, which recorded 31 points. Utah State (43 points), San Jose State (107 points) and Boise State (115 points) rounded out the top five. Fresno State had three runners finish among the top 25 in the 62-runner field on a very cold morning in Idaho. Buckner ran her second-fastest 5K time of the season when she clocked 18:12.9 to finish eighth overall. Buckner grabbed her first all-conference honor as well by picking up second team acclaim. While the program now has nine all-conference runners to its credit, she is the first Bulldog to snag All-WAC honors since 2003 when Kara June was a first team honoree. Junior Zinzi Evans (Oakland, Calif.) was the next Bulldog to finish as she, too, ran her second-fastest 5K time of the season to place 21st overall (19:01.6). Freshman Roxanne Sellick (Fresno, Calif.), who has been the `Dogs No. 3 runner this season, posted a personal-best time of 19:02.1 and finished a spot back of Evans. Sophomore Marina Santana (Woodland Hills, Calif.) notched a season-best mark of 19:48.7 (39th) while sophomore Patty Torres (Porterville, Calif.) collected her second-fastest 5K time of the year with a 20:28.1 (47th). Junior Valeria Delgado (Clovis, Calif.) placed 51st ( 20:47.4) and freshman Paloma Dominguez (Corcoran, Calif.) finished 52nd ( 20:56.9) to round out Fresno State's championship squad.
Xbox Live WAC Athlete of the Week
Buckner was named the Xbox Live WAC Cross Country Female Athlete of the Week on Oct. 17. This was her first conference player of the week accolade as she came off a seventh-place finish among a 118-runner field at the Cal Poly Invite with a 5K time of 18:28. This season, Buckner has one invitational crown to her credit when she captured the CS Stanislaus title on Sept. 10 with a 6K time of 22:30.
Buckner is Top 'Dog
After finishing as the Bulldogs top runner in all seven races a year ago, Buckner continues her leadership form by finishing first for Fresno State in all six meets this season. At the WAC Championship, she finished eighth out of 62 runners with a time of 18:12.9. At the Cal Poly Invitational, Buckner finished seventh out of 118 runners with a time of 18:13.7. At UC Riverside Invite, she finished 10th out of 92 runners and posted a career-best time of 18:11.2. That mark also was good to rank 18th overall in the school's all-time 5K list. At the 32nd Annual Stanford Invitational, Buckner finished 46th out of 227 runners in the 6K meet after clocking 23:01. At the CS Stanislaus Invitational she captured her first career invitational win when she ran a 6K time of 22:30, just seven seconds off her career-best mark set at the 2004 NCAA Regional. Buckner became the first Bulldog to win an invitational since June captured a pair of titles in 2003. At the CS Fullerton Invitational, Buckner finished 19th (19:36.7) overall in a field of 253 runners in the 5K race. The two-time NCAA Regional qualifier owns career-best times of 18:11.2 (5K) and 22:03 (6K) with one blue ribbon and one second-place finish.
Sellick and Evans Form Top Scoring Trio
Evans and Sellick continue to give Fresno State a formidable scoring trio. Evans has finished second for the Bulldogs in four races while Sellick has finished second twice. In addition, each have finished as one of the 'Dogs top three runners in all six meets. In the 2-mile Watermelon Run to open the season, Sellick captured the meet crown with a time of 11:25 - five seconds off the school's freshman record set by Mary Kuphaldt in 1986. Sellick's time ranks 15th best all-time on the Bulldogs' 2-mile list. At the CS Stanislaus Invitational she set the school's 11th-best all-time 6K mark (23:31). At the 2005 WAC Championship, Sellick ran a personal-best 5K time of 19:02.1 as she finished 22nd overall in the 62-runner field. Also at the CS Stanislaus invite, Evans, who did not run cross country in high school, set a career-best 6K time of 23:30 - a mark that ranks No. 10 all-time at Fresno State. This season, both have set personal-best 5K marks as Evans clocked 18:32.6 at the UC Riverside Invitational and Sellick at the 2005 WAC Championship.
Delgado, Santana and Torres Complementing
While the top three Bulldog scoring harriers are solidified, three others who are complementing the team are sophomores Santana, Torres and Delgado. At the 2005 WAC Cross Country Championship, Santana broke the 20-minute barrier for the second time this season and third time overall since 2004 when she clocked a 5K season-best time of 19:48.7 to place 39th overall. Injured at the Stanford Invitational, Santana has been one of the 'Dogs top five runners in five of six races this year. Torres has finished among the top five runners for the Bulldogs in five meets this season and is coming off a career-best 5K run of 20:25.8 at the Cal Poly Invite. At the WAC championship, she notched her second-fastest 5K time of the year (20:28.1). After competing in only two races last year, Delgado ran a season-best 5K mark of 20:09.3 at the UCR Invitational.