McKenna was named the men's WAC Athlete of the Year for the second time in his career as he also received the accolade after winning the WAC individual title in 2009.
TEMPE, Ariz. — In its first Pac-12 Conference Championships, the University of Utah women's cross country team secured eighth place with 205 points. Junior Amanda Mergaert led the way for the Utes with a 10th-place overall finish.
In her third six-kilometer race of the year, Mergaert passed four runners in the final 200 meters of the race posting a time of 20:21, which earned the 10th overall spot. Senior Alyssa Abbott was the second Utah athlete to cross the line with a personal best time of 20:46 for 25th place.
Freshman Susannah Hurst finished third for the Utes and 45th overall with a time of 21:22. Rebekah Winterton (59th place) and Hilary Troutner (81st place) rounded out the top-five finishers for the Utes, clocking times of 21:36 and 22:09.
In their first collegiate conference championships, freshmen Nikki Rietz (22:27), Macee Nielson (22:40), and Lauren Mills (23:46) earned the 87th, 91st, and 107th spots.
Battling an early season injury, sophomore AuraLea Fain earned 96th place with a time of 22:52. Katelyn Stringfellow posted a time of 23:06 earning her the 102nd spot.
Utah finished the race with 205 points, securing eighth place. The overall winner of the meet was Colorado with 50 points. Rounding out the top-five team scores are: Washington (73 points), Stanford (75 points), Oregon (89 points), and Arizona (104 points).
The Utah cross country team continues its season on Nov. 12 at the NCAA Regional Championships in Provo.
WAC: At Honolulu, Utah State men's cross country senior captain Brian McKenna claimed his second Western Athletic Conference individual title Saturday in Honolulu, crossing the finish line at 24:46.5 to lead the Aggie men to their sixth WAC championship in seven years while USU's women finished third.
McKenna was named the men's WAC Athlete of the Year for the second time in his career as he also received the accolade after winning the WAC individual title in 2009. McKenna has been Utah State's top finisher throughout the entire 2011 season. USU's veteran head coach Gregg Gensel was named the WAC Cross Country Coach of the Year for the sixth time in the last seven years.
Joining McKenna in the men's top 10 was senior Daniel Howell and sophomore Kyle McKenna who finished fourth and fifth overall with times of 25:32.5 and 25:43.8 respectively, as all three earned first-team all-WAC honors. Senior Hunter Nelson earned second-team all-WAC honors after finishing in ninth-place (26:06.8).
For the Utah State women, redshirt junior captain Ruth Hilton and junior Kaylee Campbell placed ninth (18:59.3) and 10th (19:02.6), respectively. Senior Jessie Chugg ended the day in 12th-place (19:06.6) as freshman Brittany Bushman clocked in at 19:15.3, which was good enough for 14th-place. Hilton, Campbell, Chugg and Bushman all earned second-team all-WAC honors.
"It was a great team effort on both the men and women's side," Gensel said. "Our men won the championship and our women battled hard down a runner. Our top finisher through the season, Hannah Williams was injured and didn't run so it was great to see the women do so well with what they had. As for Brian, he deserves all the accolades he gets because he works so hard and does what is best for the team. I think this was just great for our five seniors on the men's side to go out with a bang."
Other finishers for the Aggie men included senior Eric Larson in 16th-place (26:25.0), sophomore Devin Lang in 18th-place (26:36.4), freshman Austin Neuner in 24th-place (27:18.5), senior Nick Bolinder in 29th-place (27:43.9) and freshman Eric Shellhorn in 39th-place (28:35.5).
Other finishers for the Utah State women included juniors Brittany Fisher and Stephanie Burt in 15th and 33rd-place with times of 19:15.8 and 20:00.9, respectively, with sophomore Cherice Chugg finishing in 45th-place (20:44.7).
The Aggie men and women's cross country teams will return to action on Nov. 12 at the 2011 NCAA Mountain Region Championships, hosted by BYU, in Orem.
The top 15 finishers of both the men and women at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships will then move on to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Athlete of the Year: Brian McKenna, Utah State
Coach of the Year: Gregg Gensel, Utah State
Freshman of the Year: Eric Fenton, New Mexico State
1. UTAH STATE 35
2. New Mexico State 47
3. Idaho 59
4. Fresno State 90
5. Louisiana Tech 150
6. San Jose State 164
USU Individual Results
1. Brian McKenna, 24:46.5
4. Daniel Howell, 25:32.5
5. Kyle McKenna, 25:43.8
9. Hunter Nelson, 26:06.8
16. Eric Larson, 26:25.0
18. Devin Lang, 26:36.4
24. Austin Neuner, 27:18.5
First Team All-Conference
Brian McKenna, Utah State
Barry Britt, Idaho
Markus Geiger, Idaho
Daniel Howell, Utah State
Kyle McKenna, Utah State
Jonah Ruybalid, New Mexico State
Jeremiah Dubie, Idaho
Second Team All-Conference
Kevin Taft, New Mexico State
Hunter Nelson, Utah State
Robert Selph, New Mexico State
Kevin Palmer, New Mexico State
Victor Sanchez, New Mexico State
Eric Battles, Fresno State
Carson Keller, Fresno State
Athlete of the Year: Courtney Schultz, New Mexico State
Coach of the Year: Wayne Phipps, Idaho
Freshman of the Year: Lyndsie Etherton, Fresno State
1. Idaho 38
2. New Mexico State 53
3. UTAH STATE 60
4. Fresno State 96
5. Nevada 106
6. San Jose State 148
7. Hawai'i 203
8. Louisiana Tech 260
USU Individual Results
9. Ruth Hilton, 18:59.3
10. Kaylee Campbell, 19:02.6
12. Jessie Chugg, 19:06.6
14. Brittany Bushman, 19:15.3
T-15. Brittany Fisher, 19:15.8
33. Stephanie Burt, 20:00.9
45. Cherice Chugg, 20:44.7
-- Hannah Williams, DNF
First Team All-Conference
Courtney Schultz, New Mexico State
Hannah Kiser, Idaho
Camille Schultz, New Mexico State
Emily Paradis, Idaho
Alycia Butterworth, Idaho
Johanna Olsson, Nevada
Lyndsie Etherton, Fresno State
Second Team All-Conference
Anna Kalbrener, Idaho
Ruth Hilton, Utah State
Kaylee Campbell, Utah State
Demerey Kirsch, Nevada
Jessie Chugg, Utah State
Tamara Lementino, New Mexico State
Brittany Bushman, Utah State
BIG SKY: At Pocatello, Idaho, the Weber State women's cross country team captured the Big Sky championship Saturday. The Wildcat men's team finished second in the conference meet.
The Wildcat women won their fifth conference title and the first since 2006. The 'Cats scored 40 points in the meet followed by host Idaho State who had 50 points Northern Arizona was third at 82 followed by Montana State and Montana.
WSU sophomore Amber Henry was the individual champion. Henry posted a time of 17:30.50 on the 5K course, which broke the previous course record. Henry is the first Wildcat won win the individual title since Sariah Long in 2007.
"I was able to help my team take the championship,"? Henry said. "I knew our team would do well because we trained really well."
Junior Sarah Callister was WSU's second runner, posting a time of 17:56.92 to finish fifth overall followed by Laken Hintze who was sixth at 18:10.98 and both earned all-conference honors. Taylor Thornley was 13th for the Wildcats at 18:32.88 and Kayla Blackford finished 15th with a time of 18:40.27.
On the men's side the Northern Arizona won its fifth straight title and 21st overall. The Lumberjacks scored totaled 26 points with the Wildcats coming in second with 42. Montana State was third at 86 with Montana fourth and Sacramento State fifth.
NAU's Diego Estrada was the individual winner with a time of 24:15.43, which set a new course record. Senior Brett Hales led Weber State with a third place overall finish to earn all-conference honors. Hales posted a time of 24:44.60 on the 8K course. Mike Hardy was WSU's next runner at 25:00.20 with Jason Nance coming in eighth at 25:04.94, all earning all-conference honors. John Coyle was next at 25:35.69, finishing 12th overall, followed by Alex Sorenson who was 13th with a time of 25:45.51.
"The women ran a great race and really executed our plan throughout the race,"? said WSU head coach Paul Pilkington. "Amber got off to a great start and ran a great race and the others also competed well as a team. On the men's side Brett had a good performance and led the race for a while. The rest of the team also ran well for us."
The Wildcats will next be in action Nov. 12 when they compete at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships in Provo.
SUMMIT LEAGUE: At Tulsa, Okla., Cameron Levins led the SUU men's team to victory with an individual title at the Summit League Cross Country Championships Saturday. The men's team finished first ahead of North Dakota State and South Dakota State while Diana Medina-Mitchell also earned an individual title in the women's race, leading the team to a second-place finish behind North Dakota State.
"It was an extremely good day for the program," head coach Eric Houle said. "It's tough to win one title alone, but to also have our other team finish second is really a cause for celebration."
Levins earned the title Championship MVP with an 8K time of 24:34.3, finishing about 12 seconds ahead of second place runner Cosmas Ayabei (UMKC). Nate Jewkes followed, finishing third with a time of 25:01.4 and earning First Team All-Summit honors. John Hart finished next for the T-Birds, earning Second Team All-Summit with an 11th-place time of 25:40.5.
Dallas Eborn (25:56.8) and Clinton Rhoton (26:00.0) rounded out the scoring Thunderbirds with consecutive finishes in 16th and 17th place respectively. Coach Houle was voted Coach of the Year by the other Summit League coaches for his work with the men's team.
The men won with a total score of 48 points, with North Dakota State earning 95 points and South Dakota State following in a close third with 100 points.
Medina-Mitchell also earned Championship MVP recognition with her 6K time of 21:37.75. She finished about 10 seconds before second-place runner Kristen Radcliff (Oral Roberts).
"It was a tough race,"? Medina-Mitchell said. "I felt like I really worked for it and that our training has paid off so far this season."
Jamie Smith finished next for the T-Birds, earning Second Team All-Summit with an eighth-place time of 22:24.88. Madalyn Jones also earned Second Team All-Summit honors with a 13th-place finish and time of 22:38.43. Ashley Gray (23:06.02) and Dayna VanArsdol (23:10.26) rounded out the scores on the women's side with 24th place and 27th place respective finishes.
North Dakota State earned the title on the women's side with 64 points, followed closely by the Thunderbirds with 73 points. UMKC finished third with 99 points.
The Thunderbirds will now take a two-week break from competition as they prepare for the NCAA Mountain Region, which will take place on Nov. 12 in Provo.
PACWEST: At Goodyear, Ariz., Dixie State placed sixth at the PacWest Men's Cross Country Championpionships, while California Baptist captured its first men's title in school history.
Individually, Academy of Art senior Amos Maru earned his fourth straight individual championship by completing the 8K course through Estrella Mountain Regional Park in a time of 24:04.1.
In addition to winning the race, Maru was named All-PacWest First Team for finishing in the Top 7 of the championship event, and he was selected by the league's coaches in a post-race vote as the PacWest Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year.
The Top 7 runners to cross the finish line during the PacWest Championship are named All-PacWest First Team. Runners finishing 8-14 are named to the Second Team.
California Baptist claimed the team victory by placing five runners in the Top 11 while seven of its entries earned All-PacWest accolades. California Baptist recorded 41 points, followed by runner-up Academy of Art with 75 and third-place BYU-Hawaii with 82. Grand Canyon (87), Hawai'i Pacific (127), Dixie State (134) and Chaminade (171) placed fourth through seventh, while Notre Dame de Namur (206) took eighth and Dominican (257) claimed ninth.
CBU earned a pair of All-PacWest First Team selections after Mitchell Moore claimed fifth (24:54.1) and Mark Langworthy took seventh (25:05).
The Lancers' all-star parade continued when Victor Delgado finished eighth in a time of 25:10.5, followed by Sergio Rodriguez in 10th (25:21.2) and Trevor Henson in 11th (25:22.3). All three CBU runners earned Second Team accolades.
CBU's Chris Cline and Javier Madrid also picked up Second Team honors by finishing 13th (25:39.3) and 14th (25:42.2), respectively.
Moore was named the PacWest Newcomer of the Year for his outstanding race. The annual award is presented to a sophomore, junior or senior competing in the PacWest for the first time who posts the best finish at the conference championship.
Henson captured the PacWest Freshman of the Year award for recording the highest finish at the PacWest Championship among all rookie runners.Comment on this story
CBU interim head coach Sean Henning was named the PacWest Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year in voting by the head coaches.
Grand Canyon senior Kipkorir Mutai earned All-PacWest First Team honors by taking second place overall with his stellar time of 24:24.1, while teammate Sharles Simon joined him on the First Team squad after finishing sixth in a time of 25:02.0.
Hawai'i Pacific's Dany Malley also was a First Team choice after he raced to third place in a mark of 24:33.0. Daveson Marindich gave the Urban Knights a Second All-PacWest First Team selection when he finished fourth in a time of 24:38.9.
With five of the All-PacWest Second Team choices going to California Baptist runners, the remaining two belonged to BYU-Hawaii thanks to strong performances by Spencer Deavila, who took ninth in 25:13.2, and Justin Royer, who finished the race 12th with his mark of 25:36.6.