Aggie Harriers Sweep WAC Cross Country Championships
Junior Jason Holt was named the WAC's Male Athlete of the Year after winning the 8K race in 25:34.80 to lead the Aggie men to its fourth straight WAC Championship on Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M.
Junior Jason Holt was named the WAC's Male Athlete of the Year after winning the 8K race in 25:34.80 to lead the Aggie men to its fourth straight WAC Championship on Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M.

Nov. 1, 2008


Final Results in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Utah State made it a clean sweep at the 2008 Western Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships held here Saturday morning as both its men and women won team titles. Overall, it is the fourth-straight WAC Championship for the Aggie men and the eighth team title in the last 17 years, while the USU women won their second WAC Championship in the last three years and third-ever team title.

Junior Jason Holt (Fort Collins, Colo.) led Utah State on the men's side as he finished first overall with a time of 25:34.80 to earn WAC Male Athlete of the Year honors, while senior Ashley Johnson (Paradise, Utah) finished third overall on the women's side in her first race of the season with a time of 18:29.80. Head Coach Gregg Gensel was also honored by the WAC, as he was named the conference's coach of the year on both the men's and women's side.

"We knew going into the meet we had a chance to accomplish our goal of winning a WAC Championship for both the men and women and I couldn't be more proud of our runners," said Gensel. "We have always stressed the fact that we want to have good distance runners in both track and cross country, and this is a testament to how hard all of our kids work."

Utah State's men finished with 47 points, while Boise State finished second with 56 points. Fresno State placed third with 65 points, followed by Idaho (85), Louisiana Tech (122), New Mexico State (129) and San Jose State (214).

Utah State's women's team finished with 69 points, while New Mexico State placed second with 87 points. Idaho placed third with 91 points, followed by Nevada (135), Boise State (149), San Jose State (154), Fresno State (168), Hawai'i (231) and Louisiana Tech (283).

Along with Holt, Utah State had two other runners earn first-team all-conference honors as senior Ben Kessen (La Crescenta, Calif.) finished third overall with a time of 25:44.80 and junior Steven Strickland placed seventh in 26:13.80. Other finishers on the men's side include freshmen Daniel Howell and Brian McKenna who placed 16th (26:53.80) and 20th (27:09.30), respectively, while sophomore Hunter Nelson was 23rd (27:13.90), senior Heath Wing was 26th (27:24.40), sophomore Chio Lopez finished 33rd (27:53.50), and sophomore Nick Bolinder placed 37th (27:58.50).

"Our men were not as healthy as they would have liked today and it was a gutsy performance on their part to pull through and win the championship with all the pressure they were feeling," added Gensel.

On the women's side, Utah State had five of the top 15 finishers as Kim Quinn, Caroline Berry, Ruth Hilton and Alicia Holt all earned second-team all-WAC honors, joining Johnson who earned first-team all-conference accolades. Quinn, a sophomore from South Jordan, Utah finished ninth overall with a time of 18:55.30. Berry, a senior from Sandy, Utah placed 10th in 18:57.80. Hilton, a freshman from St. George, Utah was 11th with a time of 18:58.30, and Holt, a sophomore from Fort Collins, Colo., placed 15th with a time of 19:04.80.

Other Aggie women to compete included freshman Jessie Chugg who placed 22nd (19:18.00), senior Vanessa Gledhill who finished 27th (19:29.80), and junior Erin Stratton who placed 43rd (20:19.10).

"Our women have been running together as a team all year and that is how they run the race today," commented Gensel.

Both the Aggie men and women's teams will be in action in two weeks at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Fort Collins, Colo.

WAC Championships

Men's Team Results


2. Boise State 56

3. Fresno State 65

4. Idaho 85

5. Louisiana Tech 122

6. New Mexico State 129

7. San Jose State 214

Individual Finishers - Men (8K)

1. Jason Holt, Utah State 25:34.80

2. Erick Garcia, Fresno State 25:37.10

3. Ben Kessen, Utah State 25:44.80

4. Markus Geiger, Idaho 25:48.40

5. Brain Pierre, Boise State 26:01.50

USU Men Individual Results (8K)

1. Jason Holt 25:34.80

3. Ben Kessen 25:44.80

7. Steven Strickland 26:13.80

16. Daniel Howell 26:53.80

20. Brian McKenna 27:09.30

23. Hunter Nelson 27:13.90

26. Heath Wing 27:24.40

33. Chio Lopez 27:53.50

37. Nick Bolinder 27:58.50

Women's Team Results


2. New Mexico State 87

3. Idaho 91

4. Nevada 135

5. Boise State 149

6. San Jose State 154

7. Fresno State 168

8. Hawai'i 231

9. Louisiana Tech 283

Individual Finishers - Women (5K)

1. Allix Lee-Painter, Idaho 18:00.20

2. Breanna Sande, Boise State 18:25.80

3. Ashley Johnson, Utah State 18:29.80

4. Brandi Gutierrez, New Mexico St. 18:36.30

5. Amanda Moreno, Nevada 18:38.80

USU Women Individual Results (5K)

3. Ashley Johnson 18:29.80

9. Kim Quinn 18:55.30

10. Caroline Berry 18:57.80

11. Ruth Hilton 18:58.30

15. Alicia Holt 19:04.80

22. Jessie Chugg 19:18.00

25. Alison Taylor 19:25.20

27. Vanessa Gledhill 19:29.80

43. Erin Stratton 20:19.10



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