Oct. 31, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State cross country runner and senior captain Brian McKenna has been named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week for the period ending Sunday, Oct. 30, an award that is voted on by a state-wide media panel.
McKenna, a native of Farmington, Utah (Viewmont HS), claimed his second Western Athletic Conference individual title Saturday in Honolulu, crossing the finish line at 24:46.5 to lead the Aggie men to their sixth WAC Championship in seven years.
This is McKenna's fourth career USU Student-Athlete of the Week award as he received the honor earlier this year on Sept. 19, as well as earning it twice in 2009, once in cross country and once for indoor track and field.
McKenna was additionally named the 2011 WAC Men's Athlete of the Year for his performance. This marks the second-time he has received the honor as he also won the award after winning the WAC Cross Country title in 2009. McKenna was USU's top finisher throughout the entire 2011 season.
The Aggie men and women's cross country teams will return to action on Nov. 12 at the 2011 NCAA Mountain Region Championships, hosted by BYU, in Orem, Utah.
The top 15 finishers of both the men and women at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships will then move on to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including Aggie track & field and cross country, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Nominees from other sports included:
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY - Redshirt junior Ruth Hilton (St. George, Utah) led Utah State to a third-place finish at the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Championships in Honolulu last weekend as she finished in ninth-place (18:59.3). Hilton was named second-team all-WAC for her performance marking the third time in her career she has garnered all-WAC honors being named to the first-team in 2010 and second-team in 2008.
SOCCER - Senior goalkeeper Molli Merrill (Bountiful, Utah) led Utah State to its second-straight regular-season Western Athletic Conference title with a win against San Jose State (3-0) and a tie against Fresno State (0-0 2OT) at home last weekend. In the match against SJSU, she faced fives shots and had one save in 90 minutes. Against FS, she faced 19 shots and had five saves, which was her season high in a WAC match. Overall, Merrill has not allowed a goal since the Aggies lost at Hawai`i, 2-1, on Sept. 30. For the season, Merrill and the USU defense have nine shutouts, which is one shy of the USU record of 10 set by the 2003 squad.
VOLLEYBALL - Junior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen (North Ogden, Utah) led Utah State to a pair of Western Athletic Conference home wins last week against New Mexico State (3-2) and Louisiana Tech (3-0). Against NMSU, Sorensen recorded a career-high 19 kills to go along with four block assists and hit .533 (19-3-30). Against LTU, she had six kills and three block assists and hit .278 (6-1-18). For the week, Sorensen hit a robust .438 (25-4-48) and averaged 3.12 kills, 0.88 blocks and 0.12 digs per set.
2011-12 Utah State Athlete of the Week Winners Aug. 29 - Shantel Flanary, Soccer Sept. 5 - Chuckie Keeton, Football Sept. 12 - Robert Turbin, Football Sept. 19 - Brian McKenna, Cross Country Sept. 26 - Marcus Fritz, Men's Tennis Oct. 3 - Robert Turbin, Football Oct. 10 - Chuckie Keeton, Football Oct. 17 - Liz McArthur, Volleyball Oct. 24 - Jennifer Flynn, Soccer Oct. 31 - Brian McKenna, Cross Country
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