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USU cross-country: Aggies prepare for NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Friday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8 2012 3:45 p.m. MST

The Utah State men's and women's cross-country teams travel to Fort Collins, Colo., on Friday, Nov. 9, to compete in the 2012 NCAA Mountain Region Championships. The meet will be hosted by Colorado State University at the Collindale Golf Course.

The women harriers start the action at 12 p.m. (MT) in a six-kilometer race followed by the men's 10-kilometer race at 1 p.m. Results and a recap will be posted to the USU website when available.

Heading into the Mountain Region Championships, the USU women rank 10th in the region, while the Aggie men rank 14th, according to the latest ranking by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

"We feel like we are running really well and doing our best at the end season. We ran really well at the conference championships and I just want to see the athletes improve," Utah State head coach Gregg Gensel said. "We don't have an expectation to win the meet or anything like that, but we just want to do as good as we are capable of."

Junior Kyle McKenna led the USU men to a second-place finish at the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships in October. McKenna finished second overall with a time of 24:06.90. He was also the top Aggie finisher at each meet this season.

Senior Alex Litzsinger and freshman Tylee Newman helped pace the USU women to a third-place team finish at the WAC Championships as they crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth-place with times of 17:31.61 and 17:39.56, respectively.

The top two teams in each race Friday automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, as do the top four individual athletes in each race that are not on a team advancing. Those finishing in the top 25 on Friday will receive all-Region honors. The results from the nine regions across the country will be compiled by the NCAA to determine the at-large bids, which will be announced Monday.

The 2012 NCAA Cross Country National Championships will be hosted by the University of Louisville at the E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday November 17.

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

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