Aug 30, 2013
Logan, Utah -
For the second consecutive year, Utah State's men and women's cross country teams will open the season as host of the Aggie Invitational at the Innovation Campus Wellness Park. The course is located at 1498 North 800 East in Logan.
Teams from Utah and Utah Valley as well as individuals from Westminster will also 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 also compete on the course.
"We're excited to have a home meet and to get some local competition. 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," said Utah State head coach Gregg Gensel.
Both the men 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 a year ago.
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, fans can visit www.utahstateaggies.com
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including USU cross country & track & field, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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