LOGAN, Utah -
"The thing I like about opening at home is the kids are comfortable with the course and comfortable sleeping in their own beds," said USU head coach Gregg Gensel. "The only thing they have to worry about is racing.
"With it being the first meet of the year, they usually have those jitters. All of the other things, they don't have to worry about, so they can focus more on the race, and it becomes a better situation for them. It's exciting to be able to open in front of the home fans."
The Aggies will compete against two in-state rivals, as Weber State will send its women's and men's team, while Utah will bring its women's team. The race will be held at the Steve and Dona Reeder Cross Country Course located at 1498 North 800 East in Logan.
The men's 7-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., with the women's 5-kilometer race following at 10:15 a.m.
"It's going to be a good race," said Luke Beattie, the reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Year. "We're going to be a pretty solid pack and run strong, opening at home."
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.
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. Utah State also added a transfer from Montana State, Alyssa Snyder, who was recently ranked as the No. 25 women's runner in the nation by FloTrack. The strong returners led the team to recently receive votes in the first USTFCCCA poll, coming in at No. 33 nationally.
This is the first of three meets that USU will host this season, as the Aggies will also hold the Steve T. Reeder Memorial race on Friday, October 6, and the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships on Friday, November 10.
Fans can visit UtahStateAggies.com for detailed maps of the course and the loops the runners will take.
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.
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