By Mindy Lu
The California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) athletics program has come a long way since its inception in 1998. Today, CSUSM has 13 teams and more than 300 student-athletes. The University’s facilities have grown to include a track, baseball and softball fields, and most recently, their state-of-the-art Sports Center, home to men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. The 2017-18 season is a historic one for the Cougars as it is the inaugural season as NCAA Division II official members.
The Cougars have already made their presence known at the national level as the women’s cross country team earned an eighth place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships. Senior Natalie Rodriguez placed third among 247 runners nationwide. Four of CSUSM’s five fall sports made an appearance in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference tournament.
The CSUSM men’s and women’s basketball teams wrap-up their 2017-18 regular season in February with hopes to earn a spot in the CCAA Basketball Tournament held March 2-3 in Pomona, Calif.
CSUSM track & field’s signature event, the Mangrum Invitational, returns on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Mangrum Track. The 2018 edition will feature rivals that include UC San Diego, Point Loma and Cal State Dominguez Hills, among others.
The men’s golf team will host the CSUSM Fujikura Invitational on Feb. 5-6 at Shadowridge Golf Club in Vista, the home course of CSUSM golf. The Cougars will compete for a conference crown at the CCAA Tournament title April 23-25 at Butte Creek Country Club in Chico, Calif.
In December, it was announced that CSUSM was selected to host the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf West Regional in 2020. The event will take place at The Club at La Costa in Carlsbad, Calif. This year the 20th ranked CSUSM women’s golf team will compete at the CCAA Tournament April 16-18 at Sonoma Golf Club in Sonoma, Calif.
The Cougar softball schedule gets underway on Feb. 3 with a doubleheader at Cal Baptist. CSUSM will host three key conference series at home against San Francisco State (Feb. 9-10), Humboldt State (March 2-3) and Cal State Monterey Bay (March 16-17).
The Cougar baseball team will take the field at home for the first time on Feb. 17-18 when they face off against Concordia-Portland. The Cougars will host Cal Poly Pomona (Feb. 25), Cal State Dominguez Hills (March 2-3), Sonoma State (March 16-18) and Cal State Monterey Bay (March 29-31) in key conference matchups.
For game schedules and ticket information please visit www.CSUSMCougars.com.