CAL STATE FULLERTON NOTEBOOK / SCOTT MILLER : Titans Enjoying a Double Dose of Tansley
Order out and you can get pizza pizza.
Go to a Cal State Fullerton cross-country meet and you can see Tansley Tansley.
It would be bad enough for Titan opponents if there were only one Tansley, but Fullerton has two: Identical twins Mike and Andrew.
Mike Tansley, a senior, is the defending Big West men’s cross-country champion and running first for the Titans this fall.
Andrew Tansley, a junior, is running third on the Titan team despite not having run competitively for the last two years.
“It’s weird,” Mike Tansley said of being reunited with his twin for the first time since 1988, when they ran on a Dana Hills High State championship team. “I used to train with him off and on during the summers. He’s competing now, and it’s a lot different.
“It’s fun. He definitely keeps the workouts interesting.”
The brothers went to Long Beach College after Dana Hills but, once there, they went their separate ways. Mike ran at Long Beach College for a year before transferring to Cal State Fullerton. Andrew ran at Long Beach for two years before deciding that his education was, shall we say, lacking in a few social aspects.
So while Andrew Tansley took some time off and hung out with friends, Mike continued training.
And when Mike won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Big West Track and Field Championships in Fresno in 1992, John Elders, who coaches track and cross-country at Fullerton, knew he had something special.
“That’s what sparked him to train, winning the steeplechase,” Elders said. “Now he’s combined his ability with training hard.
“He responds to the big races very well. He really gets himself up. We even call him, ‘Big Race Mike.’ ”
Tansley, who finished first in a triangular meet last weekend at UC Santa Barbara, thinks he can win his second consecutive Big West cross-country championship this fall--but that isn’t his only goal.
“That’s just one of them,” he said. “I have goals way beyond that. I’d like to be an All-American and finish in the top five in the nation, which I know I can do.”
With that in mind, he is keeping an eye on Stanford’s Gary Stoltz, who finished second in the nation last year. Tansley faced Stoltz, then of Miraleste High in Rancho Palos Verdes, in a few high school cross-country meets and defeated him. Tansley and Stoltz will likely hook up Oct. 15 at the Arizona State Invitational.
The other date Tansley is keeping in mind this fall is Oct. 30, when Fullerton will play host to the Big West championships. That’s a day Tansley has had in mind since August, when he, Andrew, Fullerton alumnus Steve Frisone and Heather Killeen, the top runner on the Titan women’s team, traveled to Colorado to train.
“It was great,” Tansley said. “We went to Pike’s Peak, Boulder, all over the place.”
As for Andrew, he thinks the two years off did him some good.
“I lived during the night and slept during the day,” he said. “The summer of ’92, that was one of the best summers I’ve ever had in my entire life. I was pretty much in outer space every night.
“But I’m focused since then. That’s the best thing to come out of it. I’m so focused. I’m having the best time running now of anytime, including high school. It’s cool.”
Mike Tansley changed some of his training methods this summer. He ran more distance, for example, compared to the hills he ran the previous summer.
He is always checking out other runners’ training methods, too.
But don’t expect him to model himself after the Chinese runners, who have been collecting world records the way some people stock up on cat food.
“I don’t know if I can handle 25 miles a day and eat caterpillar fungus and turtle (blood),” he said. “I’ve heard that (the records) aren’t drug-related, which is hard to believe. Some of those runners were ranked 50th or worse.
“It’s great, if it’s legal.”
Gymnastics coach Lynn Rodgers and his wife, Bonnie, had their first baby, a boy. Lynn Nolan Rodgers checked in last Friday at seven pounds, seven ounces. And if you think the name sounds familiar . . .
“My name is Lynn, my father’s name is Lynn and his father’s name was Lynn,” Rodgers said. “My intention, though, was not to name my son Lynn. It’s a tough name to grow up with--you get put in girls’ P.E. classes and cooking classes, you spend a lot of time defending it.
“But when we took my dad out to breakfast to break the news to him that there wouldn’t by a fourth-generation boy named Lynn, he was pretty disappointed. I love my dad a lot, and we were in a quandary.”
But about that time, the Texas Rangers and Nolan Ryan came to Anaheim.
“I read in the paper that his name is Lynn Nolan Ryan,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t know that. It just made it simple. I like Nolan Ryan, and we could use my dad’s name. It all fit.”
The Rodgers’ will call their son ‘Nolan’, and the problem is solved.
“He’s got great, long arms,” Rodgers said. “He’s going to be a great pitcher.”
Eek-A-Mouse: Despite the deer mice/hantavirus scare in Orange County, Elders said the Big West cross-country championships, scheduled Oct. 30 at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea, are still on.
“There has been no evidence of the virus anywhere other than South County,” Elders said. “We’re not anticipating (moving the championships) unless there’s a positive test. If there’s any indication of that, of course we’d move the course.”
The only problem is that the Carbon Canyon course is currently unusable because the Army Corps of Engineers, while tracking the mice, has moved some dirt.
“The trail is impassable right now,” Elders said. “But I anticipate the course being straightened out by the championships on Oct. 30.”
A loss at Santa Clara over the weekend cost the Fullerton men’s soccer team in the rankings. The Titans (7-1) are 10th this week in Soccer America’s poll (down from fourth last week) and eighth in the coaches’ poll (down from third). . . . Mike Tran, who missed six games for the Titan soccer team because of eligibility questions surrounding his transfer from San Jose State, has been declared eligible and will be with the Titans for the rest of the season. . . . Cross-country runner Lucio Brito, the Titans’ fourth man, will return this week at the Biola Invitational after being suspended for last weekend’s triangular at UC Santa Barbara for missing practice.