Led by Dave Walsh and Darcy Arreola, the Cal State Northridge men's and women's cross-country teams will compete in the NCAA Division II cross-country championships this morning at Lake Perris in Riverside County.
Walsh won the West Regional and California Collegiate Athletic Assn. championships and should contend for a top 10 finish in the men's race.
The favorite is defending champion Samson Obwocha of Kenya and East Texas State, winner of the South regional.
Sammy Cheruiyot of Mt. St. Mary's, Derek Janczewski of Ashland, Rod DeHaven of South Dakota State and Tim Brown of Northeast Missouri should also contend for the individual title.
Cheruiyot, another Kenyan and the world junior record-holder at 1,500 meters (3:34.92), placed fourth at last year's meet. Janczewski finished fifth in 1985 and second at this year's Great Lakes regional. DeHaven finished ninth in 1985 and won his third consecutive Central regional two weeks ago. Brown won the Great Lakes regional title over Janczewski.
South Dakota State, Edinboro of Pennsylvania and Keene State of New Hampshire finished 1-2-3 in 1985 and should again battle for the team title.
"We're shooting for a top 10 finish," CSUN Coach Don Strametz said. "We're going to key off of Cal State Hayward and hopefully they'll pull us along."
There isn't a clear-cut favorite in women's individual race.
Gladees Prieur of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo won the West regional a week after finishing second in the CCAA championships. Sylvia Mosqueda of Cal State Los Angeles won the CCAA meet, then dropped to third at the West regional. Defending Division II champion Bente Moe of Norway and Seattle Pacific placed second at the West regional.
Arreola, a freshman, finished fifth at the West regionals and is capable of finishing in the top 10, Strametz said.
Four-time defending champion Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is favored to win the team title.