Cross Country Heads To WAC Championships Saturday
Oct. 25, 2006
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State Cross Country will compete in its second Western Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Fresno, Calif.
"I am not predicting that we are going to win, but in the last few years we have gone into the championships knowing we have a good chance to win, but a lot of things have to happen for us to win because the competition is better," said Aggie head coach Gregg Gensel.
Currently the Aggie men are ranked Seventh in the Mountain Region and the women are ranked Eighth. They are the only WAC teams ranked regionally.
The WAC Championships will be held at Woodland Park, with the men's 8K race beginning at 9 a.m. PT and the women's 5K race beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
Competing in the men's race will be Boise State, Fresno State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, and San Jose State.
On the women's side competing teams are Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, and San Jose State.
In every meet this season senior Vance Twitchell has been the number one finisher for Utah State. Twitchell was named WAC Athlete of the Week on Sept. 18 and in 2005 Twitchell received all-WAC first team honors along with his teammate Seth Wold. Wold was also selected WAC Freshman of the Year in 2005 and this season Wold has been a top three finisher among the Aggies in every meet.
On the women's side Vanessa Hawkins, who was named all-WAC second team in 2005 along with WAC Freshman of the Year has also been a competitive runner for the Aggies' this season along with Amy Egan who was also named all-WAC second team last year.
The Aggies' last meet was on Oct. 14 in Terre Haute, Ind. for the Pre-Nationals where the men's team finished 24th and the women's team finished 28th.
"We have to go out and accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season," said Gensel. "Our veteran runners are doing some really great things, but we do have a young team this year and so our younger runners are going to have to run well Saturday."
Last year the men's team finished in first-place with a total of 16 team points while the women came in second-place with a total of 43 points.
On the women's side the Aggies' were led by Tiffany Strickland who finished in second-place overall with a time of 17:41.93 in the 6K race competing against 62 other runners.
The men's team has finished first or second at its conference championship in 12 of the last 14 years. In 2005 The Aggie men set a WAC record for lowest team score, with 16 points. This edged out UTEP's record of 17 back in 1981. The men's team has had 81 individual conference champions.
In 2005 Trever Ball became the first men's runner in Utah State history to be named an All-American. Ball was also named WAC Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
The women's team has placed in the top four of the conference championships six straight seasons and has had 45 individual conference champions.
Results will be available at wacsports.com 30 minutes after the conclusion of the championships.
2005 Western Athletic Conference Championships Cross Country Results