EUGENE, Ore. – Utah State senior Dillon Maggard closed the book on his stellar career by capturing his ninth and final All-American accolade on a rainy Friday night at the NCAA Division I Track & Field Outdoor Championships at historic Hayward Field.
Maggard finished sixth in the finals of the 5,000-meter run with a time of 13:57.40. Stanford’s Sean McGorty won the race with a time of 13:54.81.
“Getting sixth and being first-team All-American again is great, but considering the circumstances of how hard he had to run on Wednesday night in the 10k, I think this was his gutsiest and toughest race that I’ve ever seen him run,” said USU head cross country coach Artie Gulden, the Aggies’ distance coach during the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. “He beat everybody else that was doubling back from the 10k, and the guys that beat him were all fresh, but he tactically ran really well. He went to the back at the start, but that was a little out of design to stay out of the pushing and stuff like that, and then he was just able to pay attention and work his way up.”
Just two days earlier, Maggard set a school record in the 10,000 meters with a time of 28:38.36 to place third in that event.
“I don’t think it could have gone any better,” Maggard said of wrapping up his illustrious Utah State career. “I mean, it could always go a little better, but I had never gotten first-team outdoor, so I was happy to get those two finishes. It is definitely rewarding, and all the hard work has paid off.”
As for Friday’ race in front of 11,644 fans at Hayward Field?
“I was just going to hang back,” Maggard said. “I had the 10k under me, so I was going to just relax and go for the ride, cover moves and try to be there when the running started. I was in dead last for the first mile or so, but then I just started to work up and pick guys off. After that, I just had to see what I had the last mile.”
By finishing in sixth place, Maggard earned three team points, giving the Aggies 15 overall to finish in a tie for 18th place, along with Penn State.
“Our goal coming in here was to somehow bring this thing to an end with a top 20-finish, and we did just that,” said first-year USU head track & field coach Matt Ingebritsen. “What a way for us to start with a new staff and kind of kick off a new era and just continue that legacy of Utah State track & field that’s always been there. It’s awesome to be a part of, and as the head coach, I couldn’t be happier or more proud of the staff and the kids for everything they’ve all done this year. It’s been outstanding.”
The Aggies’ finish is their best at the NCAA Outdoor Finals since 2001, when the team also tied for 18th. Furthermore, Utah State finished ahead of in-state rival BYU, which tied for 40th with seven points, and fellow Mountain West institutions New Mexico and Colorado State, which both tied for 43rd with six points apiece.
“Being able to come here and score 15 points and tie for 18th is really great,” Gulden said. “It’s a great accomplishment for us and for the program. Our program this year has now had two top-20 finishes in the NCAA with the women finishing 14th in cross country, and now the men finishing 18th in outdoor.”
Maggard garnered five first-team All-American accolades this season alone, including one in cross country, two at the NCAA Indoor Finals and the final two coming at history Hayward Field.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Maggard said. “I have definitely matured a lot as a runner, but also as a person, so I’m just on to better things. It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling, but I think that the Aggies are in good company with coach Gulden and (assistant distance) coach (Sarah) Griggs leading the charge.”
The four-day NCAA Championships will wrap up Saturday with 15 finals on the women’s side, including the conclusion of the heptathlon. One Aggie will be in action as junior Cierra Simmons will take part in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 4:54 p.m. (MT).
“I’m just really excited to see Cierra run in the steeple and see if we can walk away with some women’s points, too,” Ingebritsen said.
Fans can follow the Utah State track & field programs at twitter.com/USUTF_XC, on Facebook at USUTrack and on Instagram at instagram.com/USUTF_XC. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
HISTORIC HAYWARD FIELD
JUNE 8, 2018
MEN’S FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
- Georgia – 52
- Florida – 42
- Houston – 35
- USC – 34
T5. Alabama – 33
T5. Texas Tech – 33
T18. UTAH STATE – 15
USU MEN RESULTS:
5,000 Meters (Finals) – 6. Dillon Maggard, 13:57.40.
COMPETITION SCHEDULE FOR UTAH STATE ATHLETES (ALL TIMES MT)
Saturday, June 9
4:54 p.m. – Women’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase – Finals (Cierra Simmons)