Brian McKenna and Utah State's Men's Cross Country Team Claim WAC Titles Saturday In Honolulu
Oct. 29, 2011
HONOLULU - Utah State men's cross country senior captain Brian McKenna claimed his second Western Athletic Conference individual title Saturday in Honolulu, crossing the finish line at 24:46.5 to lead the Aggie men to their sixth WAC Championship in seven years while USU's women finished third.
McKenna was named the men's WAC Athlete of the Year for the second time in his career as he also received the accolade after winning the WAC individual title in 2009. McKenna has been Utah State's top finisher throughout the entire 2011 season. USU's veteran head coach Gregg Gensel was named the WAC Cross Country Coach of the Year for the sixth time in the last seven years.
Joining McKenna in the men's top 10 was senior Daniel Howell and sophomore Kyle McKenna who finished fourth and fifth overall with times of 25:32.5 and 25:43.8 respectively, as all three earned first-team all-WAC honors. Senior Hunter Nelson earned second-team all-WAC honors after finishing in ninth-place (26:06.8).
For the Utah State women, redshirt junior captain Ruth Hilton and junior Kaylee Campbell placed ninth (18:59.3) and 10th (19:02.6), respectively. Senior Jessie Chugg ended the day in 12th-place (19:06.6) as freshman Brittany Bushman clocked in at 19:15.3, which was good enough for 14th-place. Hilton, Campbell, Chugg and Bushman all earned second-team all-WAC honors.
"It was a great team effort on both the men and women's side," Gensel said. "Our men won the championship and our women battled hard down a runner. Our top finisher through the season, Hannah Williams was injured and didn't run so it was great to see the women do so well with what they had. As for Brian, he deserves all the accolades he gets because he works so hard and does what is best for the team. I think this was just great for our five seniors on the men's side to go out with a bang."
Other finishers for the Aggie men included senior Eric Larson in 16th-place (26:25.0), sophomore Devin Lang in 18th-place (26:36.4), freshman Austin Neuner in 24th-place (27:18.5), senior Nick Bolinder in 29th-place (27:43.9) and freshman Eric Shellhorn in 39th-place (28:35.5).
Other finishers for the Utah State women included juniors Brittany Fisher and Stephanie Burt in 15th and 33rd-place with times of 19:15.8 and 20:00.9, respectively, with sophomore Cherice Chugg finishing in 45th-place (20:44.7).
The Aggie men and women's cross country teams will return to action on Nov. 12 at the 2011 NCAA Mountain Region Championships, hosted by BYU, in Orem, Utah.
The top 15 finishers of both the men and women at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships will then move on to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including Aggie track & field and cross country, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
UTAH STATE RESULTS WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP OCT. 29, 2011 HONOLULU