Tigers take third place

The following are updates on area athletes at the collegiate level.

Eric Kleinsasser (Crescenta Valley High, 2007) Occidental College men's cross-country, senior: Racing against some of the top National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics squads in the state, Kleinsasser led the Tigers to a third-place team finish in the Pomona-Pitzer Cross-Country Invitational when he finished second overall in a time of 24 minutes 48 seconds on Saturday morning in Claremont.

Occidental finished with a score of 78 points to easily surpass fourth-place La Verne (136) and finish behind Cal State San Marcos (38) and Westmont (61), which are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 nationally, respectively, in the NAIA. The top five individual finishers all broke the previous course record on Saturday.

Kleinsasser, who was the top scoring runner on Saturday, as race winner Sam Hyams ran unattached, and the Tigers will be back on the Pomona-Pitzer course Nov. 12 when they host the NCAA West Regional.

"I like the course for the regional meet. I think it is unconventional and a little tricky," Kleinsasser said in an Occidental press release. "I think it kind of messes with people which is what cross-country should be about."

Western Nelson (Burroughs High, 2009) Cal State San Marcos men's cross-country, junior: Nelson, another Pacific League alum, also enjoyed a strong showing at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday, finishing just behind Occidental's Kleinsasser in third place in 25:04.70.

Cal State San Marcos bested Kleinsasser's Tigers, overall, however, securing a second-place team finish.

Nelson, a 2010 NAIA All-American in cross-country and two-time NAIA Track and Field National qualifier, has been the top runner this season for the Cougars, who are ranked No. 2 in the NAIA.

Jessica Alvarez (Glendale Community College, 2011) Southern Vermont College women's volleyball, junior: In her first match since garnering New England Collegiate Conference Player of the Week honors, Alvarez, an outside hitter, led the Mountaineers with 14 kills and 17 digs in a 25-17, 25-20, 25-14 nonconference road win over Simmons on Thursday.

Continuing the team's red-hot 17-2 start to the season, the victory was Southern Vermont's eighth in a row.

Alvarez, who graduated from Bellarmine-Jefferson High in 2008, earned the conference's weekly honor for the week of Sept. 18-24 with a pair of big performances against Williams on Sept. 21 and SUNY Cobleskill on Sept. 23.

In a 23-25, 25-17, 25-14, 25-22 win over host Williams, Alvarez posted 18 kills and 17 digs before recording 11 kills two days later in a 25-15, 25-10, 25-23 home win.

Alvarez has collected 250 kills, 44 aces, 22 blocks and 163 digs in 18 matches with the Mountaineers, who begin their conference season at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Becker.

Chris Cabrera (St. Francis 2010) Cal Lutheran football, sophomore: Cabrera helped the Kingsmen seal their first win of the season against Pacific Lutheran, 28-17, on Sept. 17. The linebacker tied for a team-high in tackles (eight, four solo and four assisted) and sacks (1.5 for a loss of seven yards) in the game.

The former Golden Knight has made a total of 11 tackles (seven solo and four assisted) in two games this season. His 1.5 sacks tie him for a team high this year with his current Cal Lu and former St. Francis teammate, Rian Younker.

Younker, a junior defensive lineman, also recorded 1.5 sacks against Pacific Lutheran for a total loss of 13 yards. He has made a total of five tackles (two solo and three assisted) this year. Three of his tackles came against Pacific Lutheran.

Cal Lutheran was 1-1, after losing to Linfield 24-14 on Sept. 10, heading into Saturday night's game against the University of Redlands, which was set to kick off at 7 p.m.

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