Aggie Insights E-newsletter
    VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 11 November 2009     

In This Issue



Event Listings








USU Alumni Spotlight - Nate AlderNate Alder

“So many memories, so many good friends, so many good experiences."

Nate Alder grew up thinking Logan, UT was the best place in the world. Born and raised in Cache Valley, Nate spent his youth attending Aggie football and basketball games, spending time with his father-USU professor of history and former director of the honors program-in the honors lounge, and taking music lessons from USU professors and students. One of his fondest boyhood memories is of his Herald Journal paper route. Delivering to the trailer court and “Morm Dorms”, as they were called in his day, Nate had the chance to rub shoulders with Aggie greats Eric Hipple and Jay Don Blake. In his words, “I thought I was pretty cool.” As a teenager, Nate volunteered at the Eccles Art Museum on Sunday afternoons. To this day he still can’t believe they left him in charge of such an incredible facility.

When it came time to go to college, Nate only applied to USU. There was no reason to go anywhere else. Nate says he feels more in debt to his alma matter the older he gets. Nate met and married his wife Laurel---another accomplished USU graduate---on the USU campus. Being at Utah State also provided Nate with the opportunity to excel academically and participate in a variety of activities and services. During his time as an undergrad, Alder was heavily involved in the honors program and ASUSU. His senior year Nate served as ASUSU Academic Vice President, a postion Nate says helped him succeed at much higher levels than he had previously experienced. As a student leader, Alder sat on and chaired a number of committees and boards, such as the library acquisition board, president’s council, and student computer board.

Post graduation, Nate and Laurel moved to Indiana, where Laurel studied philanthropy while Nate was busy starting his master’s and law degrees. In addition to his own schooling, Nate taught Japanese as a graduate instructor and served as the articles editor for the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. Nate left Indiana University with his law degree and a master’s degree in public policy. Together, fresh out of graduate school, Nate and his wife moved to Salt Lake City, where they had both landed their “dreams jobs”. Nate took a one-year position as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable J. Thomas Greene, while Laurel started work at the Utah Arts Council. Following his clerkship, Nate joined the Christensen & Jensen firm, where he remains today.  

Alder’s desire to solve problems and go beyond mere civic responsibility has fueled his lifelong passion for leadership and service. Nate says, “I’ve been accused of not having real hobbies, except for the boards and committees I sit on and the projects I help direct.  Yes, those are where my heart is.” A prominent, successful lawyer for Christensen & Jensen, Nate handles cases in the vast areas of catastrophic personal injury, complex commercial litigation, trial practice, and product liability. This July, Nate finished his one-year service as the president of the Utah State Bar, an elected, volunteer position. Previous to his appointment as president, Nate spent over five years serving as the president-elect and member of the bar commission. Since 2007, Nate has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer”. He has also been cited as a member of the “Legal Elite” by Utah Business magazine for the past five years.  

A Lifetime Sustaining Member of the Alumni Association, in 2007 Alder received an Alumni Association Merit Citation for his distinguished service in his community and involvement with the university. Nate says being named the Utah State University “Man of the Year” at the 1991 Robins Awards has been one of the most favorite rewards he has ever received. The trophy still sits proudly in his office, next to artwork done by his kids.

More important than awards or professional success, Nate Alder can truthfully say, “I love what I do.” His spare time is spent with his family. He and Laurel are the parents of one boy and two girls. With USU alums on both sides of the family, when the time comes, Utah State should be sure to see more Alders on campus. No matter where he goes or what honors he receives, in Nate Alder’s life, Utah State University and Logan, UT will always be one of the best places in the world.

Spotlight by Clarissa Fidler

Nominate an Alumni Spotlight

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2009 Alumni Hall of Honor

The Utah State University Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 2009 Hall of Honor Inductees: Dee Jones, Jim Sorensen, Dave & Kris Stanger, and Sharon & Bill Larkin. A banquet and awards ceremony will be held in their honor on November 13, 2009. Take a moment to read about these impressive individuals and their contributions to Utah State University.

Dee H. Jones ’Att. Dee Jones

Dee H. Jones has fond memories of his days at Utah State. Born and raised in Logan, deciding to come to USU was not a difficult choice for Jones. Dee says that the friends he made at USU are still some of his best friends today. A former Logan High Grizzly and proud Aggie, Dee served as the manager for the Utah State Basketball team from 1979-1983.

An active member of the foodservice industry since 1978, Dee has worked for several companies over the years. Some of the companies Jones has worked for included Albertson’s Food Store, RSM Foodservice, and Kraft/Alliant. As a part of his work with Kraft/Alliant, Dee has opened and maintained territories in Northern Utah, Los Angeles, Western Wyoming, and St. George, Utah. Since 1990, he has worked for the US Foodservice. In 2004 Dee received the US Foodservice District Manager of the Year award. Jones currently serves as the District Sales Manager for the US Foodservice, covering the areas of Northern Utah and Southeastern Idaho.

Jones has been a faithful supporter of Utah State University and the Alumni Association for many years. For the past several years, Dee has served as a sponsor for the annual Homecoming Golf Tournament, donating the food for the luncheon held in conjunction with the tournament. Dee is an Alumni Association Lifetime Sustaining Member, “Aggie” License Plate holder, and recognized on the Alumni Legacy Giving Board. He is also a member of the distinguished Old Main Society.

In his spare time, Dee enjoys golfing, fly fishing and riding his Harley. He also enjoys spending time with his two kids, Josh, age 18, and Abby, age 8.

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Jim Sorenson ’70 Jim Sorenson

Jim Sorenson comes from a substantial line of Aggies. His “grand-dad” was the first of the Sorenson’s to attend college, graduating from Utah State during the days when it was still known as the U.A.C. He eventually went on to teach entomology at the university. The Sorensons are no strangers to Cache Valley. Jim’s dad and only uncle were raised at the bottom of Old Main Hill on 6th North, and are both USU graduates.  Although Jim was born in Evanston, Illinois, he was raised in Salt Lake City, UT. Growing up, Jim’s father practiced dentistry and his mother was a full-time, stay-at-home mom. Jim’s two sisters also followed the Aggie tradition, both graduating from Utah State.

Upon graduation from USU in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in English, Jim attended Arizona State University, earning an M.B.A. in 1972. During his time at USU, Jim participated in ROTC, earning him a commission as an officer upon graduation. Following a brief Army duty, Sorenson returned to Arizona, married, and started working for a large computer company.

In 1977, Jim traded the Phoenix, AZ for San Diego, CA, where he took a job as a sales representative with a small, corrugated box manufacturer. Less than ten years later, Jim and two other associates decided to start their own box manufacturing company: Harbor Packaging Inc. Starting from the ground up wasn’t easy, but over the years the company has grown from only 5 employees and zero revenue in 1986, to 250 employees and $50 million in annual sales in 2008.

As a president of the San Diego Chapter, Jim has been instrumental in organizing chapter activities, including a pre-game party for the NCAA tournament game and the awarding of scholarships on behalf of the chapter. He is a Lifetime Sustaining Member of the Alumni Association, as well as an Alumni Legacy Board member.

A widower since 1999, Jim recently remarried in October 2008. Jim and his wife, Marilyn Culbert, currently live in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. Also a father of two, Jim’s oldest daughter Lisa currently lives in San Diego, while his youngest, Carly, resides in Boulder, CO.

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Dave ’69 & Kris Stanger ’70 Dave & Kris Stanger

Dave '69 and Kris Stanger '70 have been very busy the past 30 years with careers, community involvement and showing their Aggie pride. Both Dave and Kris grew up just outside Idaho Falls, Idaho. When it was time to go to college Kris was offered a scholarship from BYU, but turned it down to attend Utah State. Dave attended Rick’s college on a basketball scholarship for a year, but eventually followed Kris to USU.

Kris earned a Bachelor’s degree in History in 1968 and Dave earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education the following year. While at Utah State Dave was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and served as the Fraternity’s president in 1968. He also played an active role in starting and implementing the Intramural sport program at USU.

Following Dave’s graduation both returned to Idaho, where they taught school and Dave coached basketball and football for eight years in Idaho Falls and Hailey, Idaho.

In 1977 Kris began a career managing human resources for several departments at Idaho National Laboratory. The same year Dave began a 24-year career in sales working for B&F Distributing Co, Boise Cascade Corp, and Volm Bag Co.

In 2001 Dave went into business for himself starting Top Dollar Auction Co, an auctioning service for several contracted venues, and T Bar D Enterprises, a western tack and roping supplier.

In 2008 Kris retired after serving several years as the Human Resources Director at the Naval Reactor Facility. She is very involved in the local community in Idaho Falls. Kris currently serves as a chair for the Civil Service Commission, is on the Board of Directors for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, and serves as an Allocation Panel Chairman for the United Way.

Dave served as the Eastern Idaho Alumni Chapter President and Vice President and was a member of the Alumni Association Executive Board from 1999 to 2003. Kris and Dave are Lifetime Sustaining members of the Alumni Association, members of the Old Main Society, and they are recognized on the Alumni Legacy Giving Board.

Dave enjoys horseback riding and any horse related activity including trail riding and team roping. Kris enjoys reading and gardening. Both enjoy golfing and watching Aggie athletics.

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Sharon ’74 & Bill Larkin 'Att. An Aggie Proposal - Sharon & Bill Larkin

Sharon ’74 and Bill Larkin 'Att have a gift of sharing their talents with their community through their involvement and service.

Sharon and Bill grew up together in Ogden, Utah. Both attended Utah State where Sharon was a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Sharon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Special Education certification from USU in 1974. Bill graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 1975.

Bill proposed to Sharon on the block ‘A’ and the newlyweds settled in Salt Lake City. Sharon taught school for 11 years in several capacities including teaching at Marilyn Treschow Homeless Shelter School, and the Y.W.C.A. Batter Women’s Shelter School and for Granite school district. Bill has worked for several companies including Salt Lake City Data Processing as a Systems Analyst, Director of Applications Development for Galbraith & Green, and a Senior Software Engineer at InteliSum, Inc. He founded and was President of Laser Mail from 1981 to 2007. He currently works as a Senior Software Engineer for Cordin. Both own and operate Calligraphy by Computer, for the past four years.

Sharon and Bill have volunteered many hours in their community. They have been very involved in the Boy Scouts of America. Bill Served as Scoutmaster for six years in two different troops and Sharon served has served as a Boy Scout Advancement Chairman.  Sharon has been a Safe Neighborhoods Task Force President and served as a member of Holladay/Cottonwood Community Council. Bill has served as a Coach, secretary, and President of the Holladay Baseball League during 1988 to 2000. He also was the administrator of the Olympus Titan Lacrosse Team from 2002 to 2005 and still serves as Web Master and Treasurer for the team. They have six children, two of which attended and graduated from Utah State and three grandchildren. They enjoy tennis and spending time at their cabin in Liberty, Utah with their family. 

Sharon served as the Alumni Association Chapter President and member of the Executive Board from 2002 to 2006 and is still involved as Past President. She is a Lifetime Sustaining Member of the Alumni Association, and a 2007 Salt Lake City Chapter Merit Citation recipient. Both Sharon and Bill are recognized on the Alumni Legacy Giving Board, Aggie License plate holders and support many Aggie events in the Salt Lake City are including Sunrise Sessions, and Aggie athletic pre-game parties. 

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The Official MasterCard of Utah State University - Practical Money Skills for Life
Official Mastercard of Utah State

Credit cards can be powerful financial tools for you and your family, and as with all financial tools, they need to be used carefully. Partners First and the USU Alumni Relations have worked together to create a helpful guide that outlines the basics of credit cards and the responsible use of credit.

Click here to view the Practical Money Skills for Life guide.

Your USU Rewards MasterCard is available exclusively through the Alumni Association. A percentage of all your purchase comes back to USU and fund Alumni Association activities such as Homecoming, chapter events, student scholarships and more!

Don’t forget to bring your USU MasterCard and get double points at most locations on campus (Athletics Ticket Office, USU Theatre Ticket Office, Aggie Ice Cream, USU Bookstore, USU Dining Services, and more!)

Click here for details.

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Featured Alumni Benefit- Aggie Athletics DiscountsFeatured Benefit

There are a variety of benefits available to Sustaining Members of the Alumni Association. Each month we feature a specific benefit for all former Aggies. For the month of November, discover the benefits of Aggie Athletics Discounts.

What's better than being in the stands cheering on the Aggies? Discount tickets are available for select USU athletics events.

* 20% discount per ticket for the November 14, 2009 football game vs. San Jose State.

* 20% discount per ticket on men's basketball game tickets for these select games:

- Dec.12 vs. Utah Valley

- Dec. 21-23 Basketball Travelers Invitational (CS Fullerton, Weber State, Morehead State & USU)

* 50% discount on ALL women's athletics tickets or 50% off women's sport pass

Visit for details and times.

To receive the sustaining member discounts, you must show your sustaining member card when you purchase your tickets. May not be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability.

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$18.88 Club - NEW Young Alumni Giving Society $18.88 Club

Named in honor of Utah State University's founding year, the $18.88 Club is an exciting new giving society for young alumni (40 and under). As a member of the $18.88 Club, you have the unique opportunity to become a Sustaining Member of the Alumni Association and to give back to your alma mater through the Aggie Fund - all for a small contribution each month.

Click here for more information and to join online.

*All contributions of $18.88/month or more, or single gifts of $225 or more, are eligible for membership in the $18.88 Club.

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2010 Alumni Calendar Preview

Exclusive Benefit for Sustaining Members2010 Alumni Calendar Preview

There are many benefits for being a sustaining member of the USU Alumni Association, one of which is a complimentary Alumni calendar.

Each year the Alumni Association chooses unique photos to provide you with a high quality, visually appealing calendar.

The upcoming 2010 calendar will have a vintage feel and include pictures of some of USU students' favorite memories and pastimes like skiing on Old Main Hill (also once known as College Hill), pictured here to the right.

Click here to find out more and become a sustaining member today!

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Alumni Social Networking Opportunities

Keep in touch and up-to-date with the latest, official news from your Utah State Alumni Association on the following social networking services:

  Find us on Facebook
  Follow us on Twitter
  Find us on Linked in
  Connect with USU inCircle

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Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarship Aggie Legacy Nonresident Scholarship

Keep the tradition alive. Did you earn a degree from USU? You can now send your child to Utah State and their out-of-state tuition will be waived. Stay connected through the next generation of Aggies. We'd love to have them here!

To qualify for the Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarship, a future Aggie must:

* Be admitted to Utah State University.
* Have at least one parent who earned an associate degree or higher from Utah State University. (Verification required.)
* Enroll at USU as a first-time student to the Utah system of higher education.

Time spent in Utah on the Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarship cannot be counted towards establishing resident student status. However, the waiver will be available to your student until he or she completes their degree(s). Click here to read more about the legislation that allows USU to provide this great opportunity.

If you have any questions, please email Corey Mikkelsen at or call the Admissions office at (800) 488-8108.

USU is excited to offer this opportunity for alumni to keep the great Aggie Tradition alive!

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Back to the Buzzer


1968 Tutor Society

Top to Bottom: L. Panelli, J. Homeyer, S. Rees, Assistant; J. Homeyer, L. Sorenson, J. Bradshaw, T. Clark, Chairman.

Buzzers are now available online! Click here to go to the Buzzer Yearbooks Collection at the USU Digital Library.

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Alumni Tip-Off Parties USU Football Pregame Parties

Registration for the 1st Tip-off Party is now open!

Click here to register online.

Join the USU Alumni Association and fellow Aggies for the following Tip-Off Parties:

*USU @ Northeastern
November 21, 2009, Party Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

*USU @ Long Beach State
December 18, 2009, Party Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

*USU @ Boise State
February 11, 2010, Party Time: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

*USU @ San Jose State
February 13, 2010, Party Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

(Registration for future Tip-Off Parties will be open soon)

Check the Tip-Off Parties page for more details!

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University Inn & Conference Center Discount Coupon

Coming into town for a basketball or football game? Stay at the University Inn & Conference Center, conveniently located on the USU campus, for only $65 per night! Don't miss out on this great discounted rate. All you have to do is click on the coupon, print it off and present it at check in.

Advanced reservations are recommended. Limit one coupon per reservation.

Click here to find out more about staying at the University Inn & Conference Center.

University Inn Coupon

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Jazz Night at the Sky Club Jazz Night at the Sky Club

Join the Caine School of Arts for fine dining, live music, and big band dancing at the annual Jazz Night at the Sky Club on February 12 & 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm. The event will be held at the Skyroom Restaurant on the Utah State University campus and will feature the USU Jazz Orchestra & Ensemble and jazz vocalists.

Tickets are $40 per person and will be available through the USU Ticket Office (435-797-0305) starting December 1, 2009. Proceeds benefit the Larry Smith Jazz Scholarship.

Visit for more information.

Click here to download an informational flyer.

Event presented by the USU Music Department, University Inn & Conference Center, and USU Catering.

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Alumni Chapter Presidents ConferenceAlumni Association

This weekend chapter presidents will gather together on the USU campus for the annual Alumni Chapter Presidents Conference. At the conference, presidents and alumni staff will discuss programs, activities, and chapter business. The updated Chapter Handbook will also be presented at the conference.

Click here to download the updated Chapter Handbook.

Click here to find out more about your local alumni chapter.

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Craig Whyte Joins Alumni Staff as New Program Director Craig Whyte

Craig Whyte has recently joined the Alumni Relations office as the Program Director.

Since 2005, Whyte has worked as the territory manager and recruitment specialist for the Admissions Office at USU. In this position, Craig was responsible for out-of-state recruiting and scholarship efforts in 47 states. As a former ambassador himself, Whyte has been serving as an advisor to the University Ambassador program.

A Lifetime Sustaining Member of the Alumni Association, Whyte received both his bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. from Utah State. In addition to his work at USU, Craig has also served as an associate for A Caspian Production and consultant for Westmoor Consulting.

Patty Halaufia, Executive Director of Alumni Relations, says "Craig brings a wealth of knowledge about the university and dynamic energy to our department. He's hit the ground running working with our in-state chapters and scholarships."

Craig feels it is a privilege to work with other Aggies. He looks forward to fulfilling his new position and strengthening his associations with fellow alumni.

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Alumni in Law - Joey Blanch Joey Blanch

A counterpoint to the world’s lawyer jokes, Joey Blanch takes her responsibility to justice seriously. As a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Blanch has the obligation to cease if she believes her side is in the wrong.

“What I love about my job is that I get to do the right thing every day,” she says.

Blanch says criminal law is also rewarding because it’s “interesting to find out who did it, why they did it.” It’s an interest she developed as early as junior high, while participating in an ABA-sponsored mock trial program, complete with real judges and courtrooms. In this setting, the young Blanch once cross-examined a fellow female student in the witness chair. She had recently learned that when cross-examining, “you don’t have to be hostile,” and opting for that approach, she began a benevolent line of questioning, leading the witness along unsuspecting. Before long, the girl was backed into a corner and began to cry.

Seeing her in tears must have had an effect. More than 20 years later, following a double bachelor’s from USU and a JD from Harvard, Blanch now fights for children, prosecuting child predators. She’s California’s central district coordinator of Project Safe Childhood, and winner of a high-profile Department of Justice award for her work.

Since her post is in federal court, which works in interstate cases only, the majority of her opponents are internet-related child pornography offenders. As a result, Blanch doesn’t often receive the satisfaction of seeing or speaking with grateful victims now freed from their nightmares. For her, though, it’s the absence of such victims that makes it worthwhile. “We know they’re there, and we know there are many more who won’t become victims now,” she says.


Story by Jeff Carr

Photo from Utah State Today

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USU Greats- Notable AlumniUSU Greats - Kay Toolson

Utah State University has more than 180,000 alumni spread throughout the United States and in more than 100 countries around the globe. The Alumni Association hosts the university's Founder's Day Celebration, Aggie Family Day, A-Day, Homecoming, Golden Aggie Reunion, Senior Send-Off and many other activities throughout Utah and the world.

Click here to view the list of Notable Alumni.

This list of Utah State great alumni is not comprehensive. Alumni may be nominated by e-mailing Criteria to consider (one or all) when nominating a person includes, (1) notable achievements of regional, national or international influence; (2) influence through service, or opportunities through education, that has made a positive difference regionally, nationally or internationally; (3) champion of scientific and humanistic research.

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Travel Opportunities

Cathedrals of Great Britain with Dr. Craig Jessop: June 9-20, 2010 Cathedrals of Great Britain with Dr. Craig Jessop

Join Dr. Craig Jessop as he leads USU Alumni through a musical heritage tour of Britain's greatest cathedrals. Visit Cambridge, Westminster Abbey, Canterbury, and more for choral Evensong, plus experience traditional mystical sites.

Full Price: $2,395 (plus air fare)

Discounted Price for Alumni Association Sustaining Members: $2,195 (plus air fare)

Call (800) 291-2586 for more information.

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Class Notes Class Notes

Read the Class Notes to find out what's going on in the lives of successful Aggie Alumni everywhere!

Have you received a recent promotion, been involved in a community event, or traveled to an exotic destination? Do you ever wonder what other Aggies from your graduating class are up to?

Add your own Class Note!

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Current Athletic Schedules

Click here for the current schedules for all Aggie athletics.

Click here to view the 2009 Football Media Guide.

USU Football Season Tickets On Sale Now!

Photo from Athletics website

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Utah State Men’s Cross Country Takes Title At WAC Championships, Women Finish Second Men's Cross Country WAC Champs

Men are the five-time repeating champions

Utah State men’s cross country team won the 2009 Western Athletic Championships Saturday for the fifth-straight year. Sophomore Brian McKenna was named WAC Athlete of the Year for tabbing first-place overall. The Aggie women finished in second place behind New Mexico State.

“Brian ran a really great race,” USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel said. “He did a great job and stayed with Erick (Garcia of Fresno State) and then was able to pull away right at the perfect time.”

McKenna has been the Aggies’ top finisher in every race thus far this season and culminating with the athlete of the year honor and a first-place finish in the 8k course in 26:00.1. McKenna was also named to first-team all-WAC.

Following close behind McKenna was sophomore Daniel Howell (26:04.4), finishing in third-place overall and earning first-team all-WAC accolades.

“We had six men named to the all-WAC team, and that is a great accomplishment.” Gensel said.

The Aggie men all finished in the top 25 runners of the race with senior Steve Strickland tabbing sixth and first-team all-WAC honors as he clocked in at 26:34.5. Junior Nick Bolinder (26:36.8) took seventh and was also named first-team all-WAC. Sophomore Steve Atkinson (26:39.0) was eighth and earned second-team all-WAC honors along with senior Jason Holt (26:51.8) who finished 12th. Junior Chio Lopez (27:15.4) finished 18th overall. Juniors Eric Larson (27:20.9) and Casey Snider (27:35.9) rounded out the Aggie finishers tabbing 19th and 23rd, respectively.


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Aggie Men Picked to Repeat as WAC ChampionsTai Wesley & Jared Quayle

Tai Wesley & Jared Quayle Both Named to Preseason Teams

Utah State's men's basketball team is picked to repeat as Western Athletic Conference champions according to both the league's coaches and media as the WAC announced its preseason polls.

Utah State received eight first-place votes and 64 points in the coaches poll, while Nevada received one first-place vote and 53 points. New Mexico State received 50 points and was picked to finish third, followed by Idaho (42), Louisiana Tech (31), Fresno State (30), Boise State (23), San Jose State (19) and Hawaii (12).

In the media poll, Utah State garnered 15 first-place votes and 273 points, while Nevada was second with 269 points and 12 first-place votes. New Mexico State, who received 226 points and six first-place votes was picked third, while Idaho (193) and Boise State (145) rounded out the top five. Louisiana Tech (140) was picked sixth, followed by Fresno State (130), San Jose State (88) and Hawaii (66). The Spartans also received one first-place vote in the media poll.

"In all the years I've been a head coach, I can't ever remember where preseason predictions have helped us win any games," said USU head coach Stew Morrill. "These preseason polls are more a reflection on your past and what happened last year, and we haven't done anything yet this season.


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