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USU cross-country: Aggies head to Louisville for NCAA Pre-National meet Saturday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Oct. 12 2012 11:49 a.m. MDT

Utah State's cross-country team travels to Louisville, Ky., Saturday for the NCAA Pre-National meet hosted by the University of Louisville at the E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park.

The Pre-National meet serves as the pre-cursor for the NCAA Championships that will also be held at the E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park in Louisville on Saturday, November 17.

USU's women will compete with 62 other teams from around the nation, while the Aggie men will square off against 67 teams. With the large number of teams competing, the meet will consist of two race divisions for the men and women. Utah State's men will run their 8K race at 7:30 a.m. (MT), while the Aggie women will run in the 6K race at 9:30 a.m.

"The reason they have this meet is so people can get used to the course and see what it is like. Most of these kids have never been to a meet back east, so the travel is a little bit different than the places we go out west. It is good for the athletes to get that experience," USU head coach Gregg Gensel said. "Part of the process in preparing young athletes for a meet like this is just running it. You can explain it to them, you can show them, but they have a really hard time understanding it until they experience it. That is why we come to meets like this so they can experience that and be prepared for the next time. You do as much as you can learning wise for them and let them experience it and hopefully they come away with a positive experience."

Junior Kyle McKenna has been the top finisher for the Aggie men in all three meets this season, while senior Alex Litzsinger has crossed the finish line first for the USU women at the same three meets.

Utah State's men enter the weekend ranked 14th in the Mountain Region according to the latest poll by the United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Action will continue for USU with the Western Athletic Conference Championships being held in Ruston, La., on Saturday, October 27. The Aggie men will look to defend their 2011 title, while the USU women look to win their first WAC title since 2008.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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