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USU cross-country: women’s team ranked No. 14 in this week’s coaches’ poll

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Hannah Dutson (center) competes for USU.

Hannah Dutson (center) competes for USU.

Wade Denniston, USU Athletic Media Relations

Utah State's women's cross-country team is ranked No. 14 in the latest NCAA Division I Cross Country Coaches' Poll, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The Aggies, who earned 189 points in this week's poll, are one of three teams in the Mountain West ranked in the top 15. New Mexico, the defending national cross-country champion, remained atop the rankings unanimously with 330 points and all 11 first-place votes, while Boise State stayed at No. 5 with 287 points.

No. 11 BYU and No. 24 Utah are the other teams from the Beehive State ranked in the weekly poll. The Cougars remained at the 11th spot after a week off, while the Utes earned a spot in the rankings after their third-place finish at the Battle in Beantown. Other MW schools receiving votes included Nevada (six points) and Colorado State (five points).

On the men's side, the Aggies were just outside of the top 30, coming in at No. 33 with 13 points. Two-time defending national champion Northern Arizona is still the unanimous top pick, extending its streak atop the poll to 17 consecutive weeks.

The Aggies did not compete this past weekend and 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 were given 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, earning himself Mountain West Player of the Week honors for the period ending on Sept. 17. 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.