Five Aggies qualify to represent the United States in international cross country competitions
First-year student chase leach was second with a time of 25:50 in the under-20 8k race, while other freshmen Garrett woodhouse and Will dixon was fourth and fifth, respectively, with times of 26:44 and 26:57.
Leach produced the Aggies’ second consecutive top three in the men’s Under-20 race after Bridger altice, who is in his junior season at Utah State, finished third in 2020 at Mission Bay Park.
“After the regionals we took a break from training. It’s been a long season so I took a few weeks off and then started again,” said Leach. “I haven’t been training for too long. I only did a few workouts so I wasn’t really sure about my fitness level. I just wanted to come here and fight for the top three. places. “
On the women’s side, first year Kaybree christensen was third with a time of 23:51 in the 6K under-20 race.
“Honestly, I was just hoping to be somewhere in the top, so it’s a huge surprise and a success for me to be able to make the top three,” said Christensen.
Christensen helped Utah State place an athlete in the top-four in the Under-20 race for the second straight championship, after Bailey Brinkerhoff, now a junior with the Aggies, finishing fourth at Mission Bay Park in 2020.
In addition, Dillon maggard, who is in his third season as a volunteer assistant coach for the USU track and field and cross country programs, placed second (out of 58 competitors) with a time of 30:34 in the men’s 10K championship race.
The five Aggies have qualified to represent the United States at the Pan American Cross Country Championships, set to be held in Brazil on March 26. It is not certain that these championships will actually take place.
However, Aggie qualifiers will be able to compete at the NACAC Cross Country Championships in Honduras on December 10.
Maggard, nine times All-American during his time at Utah State, finished 1.1 seconds behind Shadrack Kipchirchir.
“It was intense,” Maggard said. “I really wanted to take the win. I let it go down to 200 yards and Shadrack passed me there. I wish I had cut it down a bit more, maybe with a K to go. Tried to keep it honest, but it’s hard to stay disciplined when you’re in enough pain. Overall I’m happy with my effort and happy with my performance. “
For more information on Utah State’s track and cross country programs, follow the Aggies on Twitter at @USUTF_XC, on Facebook at USUTrack and on Instagram at USUTF_XC.