Utah State track and field senior distance runner Daniel Howell was named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week for the week of April 2-8, as announced by the league office Tuesday.

This is the first WAC Track Athlete of the Week honor for Howell in 2012 and second overall as he also won the award for the week of Feb. 7-13 in 2011.

Howell, a senior from Manti, Utah (Manti High School), posted a personal-best and WAC-leading time in the 3,000m steeplechase (8:48.25) at the Stanford Invitational last weekend. With the time, Howell is currently ranked fourth in the nation and is No. 2 all-time in Utah State history in the event.

This also marks the fourth time an Aggie has been named a WAC Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week, as seniors Lindsey Spencer and Hunter Nelson were honored for the week of March 12-18, while sophomore Kyle McKenna earned the honor for the week of March 19-25. Additionally, three Aggies received the accolade during the 2012 indoor season — sophomores Chari Hawkins and Kylie Hirschi and senior Spela Hus.

USU track and field will return to action at Sacramento State's Mondo Mid-Major Challenge Thursday through Saturday, April 12-14, at Hornett Stadium in Sacramento, Calif. Utah State will host its lone home meet of the season, the Mark Faldmo Invitational, on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, at the Ralph Maughan Track Stadium. For more information about the 2012 Mark Faldmo Invitational, fans can visit the track and field page at www.utahstateaggies.com.

Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including USU track & field and cross country, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

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