Nov. 20, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State cross country senior captain Brian McKenna will finish his final year as an Aggie competing at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Monday, Nov. 21. He received an at-large invitation by the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee as was announced on Nov. 13.
McKenna will be the only male runner to represent the Western Athletic Conference and will be joined by two WAC women's athletes in Hannah Kinser of Idaho and Courtney Schultz of New Mexico State.
"I feel lucky to be healthy and be part of such a great team. As far as nationals goes, I have been here before. Basically, you just run your heart out and see what happens," said McKenna. "I wrote 10th place down on my goal sheet before going into the Mountain Region race. It felt good to get that number. It is very rewarding to have coaches and teammates backing me up like they have. I am just trying to have another good race, run consistent and run well in every section. Hopefully I will be able to beat some of the guys who beat me at Regionals. I am going to miss having my teammates and having their eyes on the course as well, but I think it will be fine."
This will be McKenna's second time competing at nationals as he also qualified in 2009, finishing 69th out of 250 runners. Additionally, McKenna is only the fifth USU cross country runner to make it to the championships since 2000, joining Trevor Ball (2005), Tiffany Strickland (2005), Mike Nielson (2003) and Ashley Johnson (2003), and is the first two-time selection during that span.
"We are very excited for Brian to earn an at-large selection to the national meet, he is very deserving. It is a tremendous honor for him to be able to run his final cross country race as an Aggie at the NCAA Championships," USU head coach Gregg Gensel said. "He has practiced and worked extremely hard not only this season, but throughout his entire career. For him to earn an at-large selection to the national meet twice in his career is a great reward and acknowledgment for all of his hard work and dedication to cross country."
McKenna received an at-large invitation to compete in the championships after finishing in 10th-place with a time of 30:43.3 at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Nov. 12 in Provo, Utah. He also earned all-Region honors for the second time in his career.
Indiana State will host the Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. The men's race will begin at approximately 10:08 a.m. MT, followed by the women's race at approximately 10:58 a.m. A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 21, on NCAA.com. In addition, highlights from the championships will be included as part of the CBS NCAA Fall Seasonal Show scheduled to air on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on CBS HD.
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including Aggie cross country and track & field, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Brian McKenna Results 2008-2011: (Year - Meet - Place - Time)
2008 Utah State Open 6th 20:00.20 2008 BYU Autumn Classic 14th 21:50.90 2008 Montana State Invite 13th 25:16.00 2008 Notre Dame Invite 86th 24:58.00 2008 Pre-Nationals 169th 25:27.80 2008 WAC Championships 20th 27:09.30
2009 Utah State Open 1st 21:47.90 2009 Montana State Invite 4th 25:11.00 2009 Notre Dame Invite 24th 24:19.00 2009 Pre-Nationals 36th 24:30.70 2009 WAC Championships 1st 26:00.10 2009 Mountain Regionals 19th 30:57.50 2009 NCAA Championships 69th 30:36.80
2010 Utah State Open 1st 21:49.90 2010 Montana State Invite 2nd 25:05.00 2010 Notre Dame Invite 10th 24:09.00 2010 Pre-Nationals 34th 24:21.30 2010 WAC Championships 2nd 24:37.45 2010 Mountain Regionals 20th 30:24.10
2011 Utah State Open 5th 21:06.70 2011 Montana State Invite 1st 24:27.00 2011 Notre Dame Invite 33rd 24:48.00 2011 Chile Pepper Festival 15th 30:09.50 2011 WAC Championships 1st 24:46.50 2011 Mountain Regionals 10th 30:43.30
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