NORTHRIDGE – CSUN’s Michael Merchan has been named Co-Big West Athlete of the Week for men’s cross country. Merchan is the first Matador men’s cross country student-athlete to earn the award since it was established in 2001. Merchan shares the honor with Nick Randazzo of UCSB.
Merchan paced the Matadors and finished 12th out of 172 competitors at the UC Riverside Invitational in the 8K race this past weekend. Merchan clocked 24:32.7 to lead the Matadors to a 13th place finish out of 21 teams. His time was the best among Big West participants.
Merchan has continued what has been an impressive start to his senior campaign. In his first race of the season, the senior from Puerto Rico finished seventh overall with a time of 24:59.9 at the Mark Covert Classic on Sept. 1 to once again lead CSUN in the meet. In the UC Riverside Invitational on Sept. 15, Merchan’s time was good enough to lead CSUN to a 13th place and fourth among Big West participants.
Merchan improved on his time on this course from last year, as he competed in the 8k at the UCR AG OPS Course in Riverside for the Big West championships in 2017. In that race, the senior clocked in at 25:27.0 with a finish of 27th overall. He improved in time by almost a minute and jumped 15 places in the standings.
The 5-11 senior has competed in a total of 17 meets for the Matadors. He has been CSUN’s top finisher in six of those races. He has been competing in races since he was at John Marshall High School in Hollywood, CA. He was named Puerto Rico national champion in cross country in 2014.
Merchan and the Matadors cross country team have off from competition this week, but their next race will be the Capitol XC Challenge hosted by Sacramento State, Saturday September 29.