Western Washington University’s Katelyn Steen took the women’s individual title in meet record time at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships held Saturday, Nov. 1, in Monmouth, Ore.
In the team standings, the Viking men placed a solid second and the women third, just two points out of first in the closest race in conference history.
Steen, who was named GNAC Female Athlete of the Year, posted a winning time of 20:14 over the six-kilometer course. That was 19 seconds ahead of her nearest rival as she bettered the meet record by 10 seconds.
Steen, who was the conference runner-up last year, is just the fourth WWU woman to win a conference individual championship. Sarah Porter won the title in 2010 and Ashlee Vincent took back-to-back crowns in 2001 and 2002.
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Simon Fraser, ranked eighth nationally, took the GNAC women’s team title with just two points separating the top three teams. The Clan won with 62 points, UAA had 63 and WWU 64. Simon Fraser, the GNAC runner-up in each of the last three seasons, snapped a five-year UAA winning streak.
Taylor Guenther placed 10th (21:03) for the Vikings and Austen Reiter (Jr., Camas) was 13th (21:22). The top 10 earn all-conference recognition.