LOGAN, Utah — On a cold, rainy day, Utah State cross country held serve on their home course Friday at the fifth-annual Steve T. Reeder Memorial Invitational at the Steve & Dona Reeder Cross Country Course.
“Both races went well today,” head coach Artie Gulden said. “The men gained a lot of experience. Most of them are younger guys who got to run against some good competition. The ladies packed up well and worked together well. It was great to see a lot of improvement from our first meet last month even in less than ideal conditions.”
In the 5K women’s race, the Aggies placed first as a team with 26 points, ahead of the College of Idaho’s second-place finish with 49 points. UNLV and Utah came in third and fourth, respectively. Senior LeAnn Larkin-Hatch led the Aggie effort with a time of 18:44.0 and a second-place finish.
“My goal is just to stay with the front pack and whoever is leading the race,” Larkin-Hatch said. “I just want to hang right on them. When people start making moves, I just go with them and pass as many people as I can.”
Junior Megan Terry followed closely behind in third with a time of 18:51.4. Freshman Madison Strasner crossed the line as the third Aggie finisher and seventh overall with a time of 19:10.4. Sophomores Sammi Lee and Mattie Geddes finished eighth and ninth, respectively, with times of 19:15.7 and 19:20.3 to round out USU’s top five finishers.
“It’s always really special being at our home course just because we have a lot of people that get to come cheer us,” Larkin-Hatch said. “Our families, teammates, locals, everyone gets to come. There’s a lot of hype, which makes it exciting. It’s our home course so it’s a little bit of an advantage for us.”
In the men’s 7K, five of Utah State’s six runners were freshmen as the team placed first in the race with 27 points, while the College of Idaho took second with 37 points. Freshman Chase Leach placed first overall with a time of 21:47.4. Fellow freshman Garret Woodhouse came in third overall with a time of 22:00.8 in the rain-soaked race.
“It was hard,” Woodhouse said of the race conditions. “It’s really fun to have a sort of change of pace, especially because it’s usually so dry. It’s nice to run our home course in a different way.”
Junior Justin Hodges placed fifth overall with a time of 22:06.0 as the third Aggie across the line. Freshmen Mitchell Athay and Will Dixon rounded out USU’s top-five placers with times of 22:15.2 and 22:21.0, respectively, to finish eighth and 10th overall.
“It went pretty well,” Woodhouse said. “It’s hard because, today especially, I felt myself disconnecting a bit. But, overall, I pulled it back at the end. Most people had a pretty good race.”
The race is named in honor of one of Utah State’s longest-tenured assistant coaches, Steve Reeder, who spent 35 years with the Aggies’ cross country and track & field teams. During his time at Utah State, Reeder coached both the indoor and outdoor runners in the 800 meters and longer distances, and worked with the cross country runners. He was instrumental in helping the Aggies capture 38 combined conference titles for cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track and field.
“Steve and I, we both just loved Utah State,” Dona Reeder, Steve’s wife, said. “We loved coming. We loved the athletes. We both taught school, but then he would come here, like his real job was coaching.”
Seven months after retiring from coaching, Reeder passed away at the age of 63 on Jan. 28, 2016, at his cabin in Star Valley, Wyoming.
“It just means a lot to be here in general,” Woodhouse said. “Utah State is a great program. It’s a really great school. It means a lot, just the legacy that precedes us and the legacy looking forward. It inspires me personally.”
UP NEXT: The Aggies return to the road for the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, held at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Madison, Wisconsin.
For more information on the Utah State track & field/cross country programs, follow the Aggies on Twitter at @USUTF_XC, on Facebook at USUTrack and on Instagram at USUTF_XC.
Steve T. Reeder Memorial Invitational | October 8, 2021 | Logan, Utah
Women’s 5K Team Results
- UTAH STATE – 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, (13), (14) – 26
- College of Idaho – 4, 9, 10, 11, 15, (17), (20) – 49
- UNLV – 1, 12, 19, 21, 23, (24), (26) – 76
- Utah – 5, 16, 18, 22, 25 – 86
- Weber State – DNF
Women’s Top-Five Finishers: 1. Natalia Ruiz Lara (UNLV) – 18:25.2; 2. LeAnn Larkin-Hatch (USU) – 18:44.0; 3. Megan Terry (USU) – 18:51.4; 4. Tess McInelly (WSU) – 19:01.9; Ellyse Tingelstad (COI) – 19:07.5.
Utah State Women’s Results: 2. LeAnn Larkin-Hatch – 18:44.0; 3. Megan Terry 18:51.4; 7. Madison Strasner – 19:10.4; 8. Sammi Lee – 19:15.7; 9. Mattie Geddes – 19:20.3; 15. Taylor Smart – 19:40.5; Taylia Norris – 19:46.7; 16. Aubrey Thueson – 19:51.6; 19. Paytin Drollinger – 20:14.2.
Men’s 7K Team Results
- UTAH STATE – 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, (13) – 27
- College of Idaho – 4, 6, 7, 9, 11 (14), (15) – 37
- Weber State – DNF
Men’s Top-Five Finishers: 1. Chase Leach (USU) – 21:47.4; 2. Tracen Warnick (WSU) – 21:51.0; 3. Garrett Woodhouse (USU) – 22:00.8; 4. Daniel Butler (COI) – 22:03.9; 5. Justin Hodges (USU) – 22:06.0
Utah State Men’s Results: 1. Chase Leach – 21:47.4; 3. Garrett Woodhouse – 22:00.8; 5. Justin Hodges – 22:06.0; 8. Mitchell Athay – 22:15.2; 10. Will Dixon – 22:21.0; 13. Ben Berlin – 22:40.6