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USU cross-country: both Utah State teams remain in top 10 of region rankings

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Both of Utah State’s cross-country teams remained in the top 10 in the latest NCAA Division I Cross Country Regional Rankings, released Monday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

The Aggie women came in at No. 4 for the second-straight week, while the men remained at No. 7.

On the women’s side, none of the top-four teams competed this past weekend as defending NCAA champion New Mexico remained in the top spot in the Mountain Region for the fourth-straight week to open the season. No. 2 was held by Colorado, while No. 3 BYU and No. 4 Utah State, which has yet to run its top squad this season, remained in their respective spots.

Rounding out the top five was Utah, which had the biggest jump in the region, improving two spots to No. 5 this week.

There were no changes to the top five on the men’s side as Northern Arizona, BYU, Colorado, Colorado State and Southern Utah remained at Nos. 1 through 5, respectively.

The Aggies did not compete this past weekend but will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 29, when Utah State travels to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the Paul Short Run, which begins at 7:30 a.m. MT.

In USU’s last outing, the Aggies took part in the BYU-hosted Autumn Classic on Sept. 15, which was moved to Utah State’s Steve and Dona Reeder Cross Country Course due to unhealthy air quality in Utah County.

Second-year Utah State head coach Artie Gulden held out the top-nine women Aggie runners, while five men got the week off. Despite that, the Aggie men placed second with 60 points, while the women also captured second place with 53 points.

Junior Luke Beattie was the top finisher on the men’s side as he crossed the line in eighth place with a time of 19:26.8 in the 7-kilometer race. Juniors Sam Clausnitzer and Adam Hendrickson finished right behind Beattie in ninth and 10th place, respectively, with times of 21:21.2 and 21:21.3.

The Aggie women were led by sophomore Bailee Parker, who finished the 5-kilometer run by placing 17th overall with a time of 18:30.2. Freshman Camille Wirthlin also earned a top-20 finish as she captured 19th place with a time of 18:32.3.