Utah State's men's cross country team captured its first-ever Mountain West title, while the Aggie women placed fifth as USU hosted the MW Cross Country Championships Friday morning at the Steve and Dona Reeder Cross Country Course.
The USU men won the team title with 42 points, led by senior Dallin Farnsworth, who became the first Aggie to ever win a MW Championship race. Farnsworth's time of 21:14.2 broke the MW Championship record, surpassing the previous record by 20 seconds. Farnsworth, a native of Pocatello, Idaho, also earned MW Men's Student-Athlete of the Year honors.
"I didn't know I had gotten any records," Farnsworth admitted. "I mean, records are meant to be broken, so I'm sure next year the record will be broken again, but it's definitely exciting to run well, and it just gives confidence to myself, my teammates and the coaches that we're doing something right."
Three of the top six runners in the men's 8-kilometer were Aggies as seniors Luke Beattie (23:23.8) and James Withers (23:24.9) finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Withers and Beattie, along with Farnsworth, earned first-team all-MW honors. Sophomore Caleb Garnica was named to the all-MW second team after finishing 14th with a time of 23:40.7.
Third-year USU head coach Artie Gulden was named MW Coach of the Year, the first Aggie coach to ever earn that honor.
"We wanted to try and be patient the first part of the race, and then steadily move up the second half and try and make sure we had some running left the last 2k, and they did that really well," Gulden said. "Our normal No. 3, Adam (Hendrickson), has been a little sick, so we were a little nervous when he fell off, but other guys stepped up. It was a true team win today."
Other finishers for the Aggies included senior J.D. Thorne (23:43.2) in 16th, junior Haydon Cooper (23:49.7) in 21st, sophomore Roberto Porras (23:53.9) in 23rd, Hendrickson (24:01.6), a senior, in 27th, and freshman Max Wehrli (25:04.4) in 55th.
The No. 22 Aggie men, who came in to the championship meet picked second in the conference, finished 32 points ahead of second-place Colorado State (74 points). Wyoming was just one point behind the Rams with 75 points, followed by No. 18 Boise State in fourth with 88 points. Air Force finished fifth with 106 points, New Mexico was sixth with 111 points and San José State seventh with 220 points. Nevada (243 points) and Fresno State (276 points) rounded out the field.
In the women's 6-kilometer race, No. 11 New Mexico defended its title for the 12th-consecutive year, finishing with a team score of 31 points. Lobo junior Weini Kelati defended her individual title from last season, finishing with a time of 19:11.2, crossing the finish line 49 seconds ahead of the next finisher to shatter a Mountain West Championship record.
Following the Lobos was No. 14 Air Force in second with 54 points, No. 13 Boise State in third with 63 points and Colorado State in fourth with 114 points. The Aggies earned 134 points to place fifth, led by junior Katie Struthers-Haviland, who placed 18th with a time of 21:00.4.
The Aggie women finished with just a 25-second split, the best among any team. The freshman duo of Mimi Miyazawa (21:05.1) and Arianna Steiner (21:16.1) were the next two Aggies across, finishing 22nd and 31st, respectively.
"I thought the ladies ran really tough, and they executed their race plan really well," Gulden said. "On the women's side, when you have three teams ranked in the top-20 in the nation, that's some amazing competition from our conference."
Aggie runners captured places 35 through 38, as sophomore Mica Rivera (24:24.4), freshman Reagan Hoopes (21:25.8), senior Josie Givens (21:26.5) and freshman Abby Jensen (21:31.5) finished in succession. Closely behind, sophomore Madison Taylor (21:35.2) and freshman Bailey Brinkerhoff (21:36.0) finished 41st and 42nd, respectively, to round out the USU finishers.
Following Utah State was Wyoming, which finished in sixth with 170 points. Then came San José State in seventh with 194 points, Nevada in eighth with 244 points and UNLV in ninth with 293 points. San Diego State (299 points) and Fresno State (326 points) placed 10th and 11th, respectively.
Utah State returns to action in two weeks when it travels to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Friday, Nov. 15. The race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., at Rose Park Golf Course.
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. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Mountain West Championships
Steve and Dona Reeder Cross Country Course – Logan, Utah
Nov. 1, 2019
Men 8k | Women 6k
Men's Team Results
1. UTAH STATE – 42
2. Colorado State – 74
3. Wyoming – 75
4. Boise State – 88
5. Air Force – 106
6. New Mexico – 111
7. San José State – 220
8. Nevada – 243
9. Fresno State – 276
Men's Individual Top-5 Results: 1. Dallin Farnsworth (USU) – 23:14.2; 2. Forrest Barton (CSU) – 23:22.1; 3. Harry Ewing (WYO) – 23:22.6; 4. Will Kitzhaber (AF) – 23:22.8; 5. Luke Beattie (USU) – 23:23.8.
Utah State's Men's Finishers: 1. Dallin Farnsworth – 23:12.2; 5. Luke Beattie – 23:23.8; 6. James Withers – 23:24.9; 14. Caleb Garnica – 23:40.7; 16. J.D. Thorne – 23:43.2; 21. Haydon Cooper – 23:49.7; 23. Roberto Porras – 23:53.9; 27. Adam Hendrickson – 24:01.6; 55. Max Wehrli – 25:04.4.
Women's Team Results
1. New Mexico – 31
2. Air Force – 54
3. Boise State – 63
4. Colorado State – 114
5. UTAH STATE – 134
6. Wyoming – 170
7. San Jose State – 194
8. Nevada – 244
9. UNLV – 293
10. San Diego State – 299
11. Fresno State – 326
Women's Individual Top- 5 Results: 1. Weini Kelati (UNM) – 19:11.2; 2. Ednah Kurgat (UNM) – 20:00.2; 3. Mariah Mettler (AF) – 20:13.1; 4. Mahala Norris (AF) – 20:13.3; 5. Hannah Nuttall (UNM) – 20:14.4.
Utah State's Women's Finishers: 18. Katie Struthers-Haviland – 21:00.4; 22. Mimi Miyazawa – 21:05.1; 31. Arianna Steiner – 21:16.1; 35. Mica Rivera – 21:24.4; 36. Reagan Hoopes – 21:25.8; 37. Josie Givens – 21:26.5; 38. Abby Jensen – 21:31.5; 41. Madison Taylor – 21:35.2; 42. Bailey Brinkerhoff – 21:36.0.
MOUNTAIN WEST CROSS COUNTRY POSTSEASON AWARDS
MW Women's Student-Athlete of the Year
Weini Kelati, New Mexico
MW Women's Freshman of the Year
Gracelyn Larkin, New Mexico
MW Women's Coach of the Year
Joe Franklin, New Mexico
MW Men's Student-Athlete of the Year
Dallin Farnsworth, Utah State
MW Men's Freshman of the Year
Ryan Johnson, Air Force
MW Men's Coach of the Year
Artie Gulden, Utah State