WAC Salute: Utah State Cross Country

The first article in BroncoCountry's salute to the WAC covers the run of success by the Utah State men's and women's cross country teams. The Aggies have captured 12 conference championships since 1992, including seven in the WAC. The Utah State men have won the WAC every year since they joined the conference in 2005.

Led by Head Coach Gregg Gensel, Utah State has enjoyed great success in cross country. Gensel is now in his 30th year as the face of the Aggie track and field and cross country programs.

Utah State's men's cross country team not only is the five-time defending Western Athletic Conference Champions but has won nine conference titles under Gensel. The men won Big West Conference championships in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 2002 while the women captured the Big West title in 1998. The Aggie men and women both won the 2006 and 2008 WAC Cross Country championships.

The USU men finished seventh at the NCAA Regionals in 2001, eighth in 2002, sixth in 2003, seventh in 2004, sixth in 2005, 10th in 2006, eighth in 2007, 10th in 2008 and seventh in 2009. The Aggie women were ninth in 2001, eighth in 2002 and 2003, third in 2004, seventh in 2005, ninth in 2006, eighth in both 2007 and 2008 and 14th last season.

Individually, the Aggie cross country team has included All-American Trever Ball, who finished 47th in 2005. The top 30 American citizens are awarded All-America status and Ball was 29th among U.S. runners. Sophomore Brian McKenna ran well at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships last season, finishing the 10K course in 30:36.8, getting 69th place out of 250 runners. Nick Bolinder also qualified for Nationals. Vance Twitchell was named to the all-Mountain Region team in 2006. Mike Neilson and Ashley Johnson represented the USU men and women, respectively at the Cross Country Championships in 2003.

Congratulations Utah State, for your great performance in cross country!

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