LOGAN, Utah -
The Aggie women are picked fifth, while the men came in at No. 7 in the poll. The No. 5 ranking is the highest the USU women have earned in the USTFCCCA regional poll, which began in 2010.
For the men, it is their highest ranking since also coming in at No. 7 during week one of the 2012 season.
Colorado will begin the season as the top-ranked women's squad in the Mountain Region, and New Mexico (No. 2) is the only Mountain West school ahead of the Aggies. Air Force (No. 6) and Colorado State (No. 7) are closely behind USU, while Nevada (No. 12) and Wyoming (No. 15) round out MW teams in the preseason poll.
Northern Arizona opens the year as the top men's team in the Mountain Region, and USU is joined in the top-10 by fellow Mountain West schools Colorado State (No. 5) and Air Force (No. 6). New Mexico (No. 9) and Wyoming (No. 10) conclude the MW representation in the poll.
The Aggie women return seven of the nine runners from last year's MW Championships, including junior Kashley Carter, who earned second-team all-conference honors last year by finishing eighth at the conference meet with a time of 20:45.20.
The men's squad returns 10 runners from last season, highlighted by senior Dillon Maggard, who earned USU's third All-American honor last season when he finished 12th in the NCAA National Championship race with a time of 30:03.90. It was the best finish at the NCAA race in USU history. Utah State also returns the reigning MW Freshman of the Year, Luke Beattie.
The Aggies will open their season at the Utah State-hosted Sagebrush Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 2, with the men's race starting at 9:30 a.m., and the women to follow at 10:15 a.m.
Utah State will also host the Steve T. Reeder Memorial on Friday, October 6, at 3:00 p.m., and the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 10, at a time to be announced.
Fans can follow the Utah State track & field and cross country programs at twitter.com/USUTF_XC, on Facebook at USUTrack and on Instagram at instagram.com/USUTF_XC. Aggies fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Women's Preseason Mountain Region Rankings:
2. New Mexico
5. Utah State
6. Air Force
7. Colorado State
8. Northern Arizona
10. Southern Utah
11. Montana State
14. Weber State
Men's Preseason Mountain Region Rankings:
1. Northern Arizona
4. Southern Utah
5. Colorado State
6. Air Force
7. Utah State
9. New Mexico
11. Weber State
12. Montana State
13. Texas Tech
14. Utah Valley
15. New Mexico State
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