USU cross-country: Aggies kick off 2013 season on Saturday as host of the Aggie Invitational

Published: Friday, Oct. 9 2015 5:09 a.m. MDT

LOGAN — For the second consecutive year, Utah State’s men's and women’s cross-country teams open the season as host of the Aggie Invitational at the Innovation Campus Wellness Park.

Teams from Utah and Utah Valley, as well as individuals from Westminster, will be competing with the USU men and women. The competition will begin with the men's four-mile race starting at 9 a.m. (MT), followed by the women’s collegiate five-kilometer competition at 9:30. At the completion of the collegiate races, several high school teams will compete on the course.

“We’re excited to have a home meet and to get some local competition," head coach Gregg Gensel said. "It’s always a great thing to be able to have our team run in front of their family and friends. We have a young team so we’re trying to figure out where everybody is and having a home meet gives us a better situation to evaluate them.”

The men's and women’s teams enter the season picked fifth in the 2013 Mountain West Conference preseason polls. The men’s team was also slated 12th in the 2013 NCAA Mountain Region team rankings.

The Aggies enter the season as members of the Mountain West Conference after spending the past eight years in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggie men, who placed second in the WAC a year ago, return eight runners from last year’s team, including Kyle McKenna who earned first-team all-WAC honors after finishing second at the 2012 WAC Championships. Second-team all-WAC honoree Eric Shellhorn also returns following a sixth-place finish at the WAC Championships last season.

For the women’s team, 12 runners return after placing third in the WAC last season. Alex Litzsinger, the team’s lone senior, returns for USU after placing 19th at the NCAA Mountain Regionals, earning all-region accolades. Litzsinger also received first-team all-WAC accolades after finishing third at the 2012 WAC Championships. Juniors Tessa Brown, Ashley Robison and 2011 second-team all-WAC honoree Brittany Bushman also return for the Aggie women harriers.

For more information on the Aggie Initational, including a schedule of events and course maps, visit USU's athletic website.

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

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