Utah State Cross Country Reports for Fall Camp

With Utah State's first meet of the 2018 season less than two weeks away, the Aggies' men's and women's cross country programs reported to campus on Monday morning before heading out on the road for the team's annual week-long camp in Altamont, Utah.
 
"It is great to have the team back," said second-year Utah State cross country coach Artie Gulden. "They are the reason we are here, so to have the season starting is, for us, the best time of the year. We will be heading to camp this week in eastern Utah, which will be a time for them to set goals and get to know each other."
 
The men and women are coming off of their best seasons in program history, as both advanced to the NCAA Division I Championships for the first time ever.
 
Ranked 19th in the nation heading into the championships, the Aggie women finished 14th with 395 points in the six-kilometer race, which was held at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. On the men's side, Utah State, which was ranked No. 27, despite having three runners go down early in the 10K race, took 27th with 603 points.
 
Alyssa Snyder led the way for the Aggie women as she placed 25th with a time of 20:03.39 to earn All-American honors. She became just the second Utah State runner on the women's side to garner All-American honors, joining Alissa Nicodemus, who placed 14th at the 1992 national championships.
 
"It is honestly so good to be coming back together with the team – all of them are such amazing hard workers and I know we have all been training individually over the summer," said Snyder, a senior on the cross country team this year. "It will be extremely rewarding to get to run with our teammates and work together for a common goal again.
 
"Additionally, it will be so nice to be able to have the guidance of our coaches through workouts and through the challenges of getting back into the full swing of school and running. This team had such an amazing breakthrough season last year, and I know we are all eager to see that legacy continue and be improved upon this season. It will be exciting to see how we navigate the upcoming season."
 
Dillon Maggard capped his stellar cross country career by placing sixth with a personal-best 10K time of 29:16.20 to earn All-American accolades. He became the first two-time All-American in Utah State cross country history, as he placed 12th with a time of 30:03.09 at the 2016 national championships, which were held in Terre Haute, Ind.
 
The 2018 campaign begins with the Sagebrush Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 1, on the Steve and Dona Reeder Cross Country Course, marking the 14th consecutive year Utah State has lifted the lid at home. This is the first of two home meets for the Aggies, who will also host the Steve T. Reeder Memorial Invitational on Friday, Oct. 5.
 
"There is nothing like being back in Logan, going out for runs with the team and all striving for that same goal," said junior Luke Beattie. "The start of a new season is always exciting. Coming into the new season, we may have lost some key runners like Dillon, but we also gained a lot of solid new runners. With qualifying for nationals last year, we know what it takes to get there again this year and everyone being all in on believing."
 
After hosting the Steve T. Reeder Memorial Invitational, Utah State returns to the road for the Pre-National Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 13, in Madison, Wis. This meet will serve as the Aggies' final tune-up for the Mountain West Championships, which are being hosted by San Diego State, on Friday, Oct. 26.
 
Utah State had four Aggies earn all-Mountain West honors at the 2017 Championships, which were hosted by New Mexico and held at the UNM North Golf Course in Albuquerque.
 
The women's team placed third overall with 73 points, while the men took fourth with 93 points. Dillon Maggard recorded the best finish for an Aggie as he placed third overall in the men's eight-kilometer race, finishing in 23:54.45. His third-place finish, good for first-team all-MW honors, is the highest for USU since it joined the MW, topping his fourth-place finish in 2016.
 
On the women's side, Snyder earned first-team all-MW honors with a sixth-place finish, completing the six-kilometer run in 20:55.40. Joining Snyder with all-conference honors were Tylee Newman-Skinner and Kashley Carter, who each earned second-team all-MW accolades as they finished in 10th and 13th place with times of 21:19.67 and 21:22.02, respectively.
 
NCAA postseason competition begins two weekends later with the Mountain Regional Championships on Nov. 9 in Provo, followed by the NCAA Championships just eight days later in Madison.
 
The women's team placed fourth with 125 points at last year's Mountain Regionals, which were held in Logan. The men took seventh with 197 points. Maggard, Carter, Newman-Skinner and Snyder each earned all-region accolades by placing in the top 25.
 
The 2018 NCAA Championships are hosted by the University of Wisconsin and will take place at the Zimmer Championship Course, which features an exterior loop of approximately 2,500 meters and an interior loop of 1,000 meters. Both loops cover the area's rolling hills and valleys, while the outside loop also runs through a section of dense woods, which are aflame with color in the fall.
 
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. Aggies fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

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