Marcel Espinoza is accustomed to running, but now he’s getting a ride.

The standout Santa Monica High sprinter has chosen to continue his track career at Cal State Fullerton on a full athletic scholarship, according to Vikings coach Tania Fischer.

Espinoza’s decision was announced ahead of his appearance at the CIF state track and field championships, which are being held today and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the campus of Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif.

Espinoza has qualified in the boys 400-meter dash, the prelim heats for which will begin at 8:06 p.m. June 3. His school-record time of 47.33 seconds gives him the No. 3 seed behind Vista Murrieta superstar Michael Norman (46.21) and Antelope junior Myles Ellis (46.78).

Espinoza is vying for a coveted spot in the state finals, which will be held June 4 at 8:15 p.m.

But regardless of how he performs at the CIF meet, Espinoza has Division I competition in his future as a member of Cal State Fullerton’s track and field team. Led by longtime coach John Elders and assisted by sprints coach Marques Barosso, the Titans are part of the Big West Conference.

Espinoza is one of eight members of Fischer’s program with plans to continue in track and field beyond high school. The athletes were recognized during a ceremony in the Samohi cafeteria May 25.

Joining Espinoza at Cal State Fullerton will be Lucas Jackson, who earned a partial scholarship.

Jackson eclipsed the 2-minute mark in the boys 800 meters this season, winning an Ocean League titles in that race and adding an individual conference championship in the 1,600-meter run.

Biruke Alemu has received a partial scholarship to join the UC Riverside men’s track and field and cross-country teams, Fischer said. Alemu, a top-15 finisher in the league’s cross-country finals in November, was the conference runner-up in the 3,200 meters this spring.

Halimat Adeyemi will attend Concordia University on a partial scholarship for track. Adeyemi was the league champion in the girls 100- and 200-meter dashes last month with times of 12.78 seconds and 26.10 seconds, respectively.

Kasia Krzyzanowski will continue her running career at Fordham University in New York. The conference cross-country champion will join a Division I program that competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The UC Santa Cruz track and field and cross-country programs will receive a trio of Samohi seniors in Geneva Carter, Jonathan Trinh and Antonia Fuller. The local athletes will hone their skills under coach Jamey Harris as they contribute for the Banana Slugs in Division III.

Carter was a top-20 conference finisher in girls cross-country this past fall and was the league’s 800-meter runner-up as a junior last spring. Trinh was a top-20 runner in boys cross-country and also in the 3,200-meter league finals last month. Fuller has been active in Fischer’s program as well as a member of the Samohi girls soccer team.

jeff@www.smdp.com