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USU cross-country: Aggies set to compete at 2012 WAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Oct. 26 2012 1:29 p.m. MDT

The Utah State men's and women's cross-country teams will compete in the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, hosted by Louisiana Tech at the Lincoln Parish Park in Ruston, La.

The women harriers will start the action at 8 a.m. (MT) followed by the men's race at 9. Results will be posted to the USU website when available.

The USU men were picked by the league's nine coaches to win the 2012 WAC title with four first-place votes and 65 points, followed by New Mexico State (60) and Seattle U (58) with two first-place votes each. On the women's side, the Aggies were chosen to finish third in the poll, collecting 55 points behind Idaho (68) and New Mexico State (65), respectively.

“On both the men and women's sides we have pretty young teams. My expectation would be to for them to run their best. I think if they run their best, good things will happen,” USU head coach Gregg Gensel said. “If the athletes run like they have been running, I like our chances. If they don't, then we will see what happens, but I still think like we have a good shot.”

Junior Kyle McKenna has led the USU men all season as their top finisher at each meet, highlighted by finishing 51st (24:03.9) out of 272 runners at the NCAA Pre-National meet in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 13. With the performance he was named the WAC Cross Country Athlete of the Week for the period of Oct. 8-14.

Senior Alex Litzsinger has helped pace the Aggie women as their top finisher at each meet this season as she also performed well in Louisville with a third-place finish (21:15.4) out of 243 runners.

The Utah State women rank 12th in the Mountain Region, while the men rank 14th, according to the latest rankings by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Attendance at the 2012 WAC Championships is free for all fans.

Following the conference championships, USU will continue the 2012 season at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships in Fort Collins, Colo., on Friday, Nov. 9.

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

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