Western Washington University’s Katelyn Steen was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II West Region Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year in an announcement Wednesday, Nov. 26.
Steen, a senior from Sammamish won the regional individual crown by just over five seconds at last Saturday’s meet, completing the 6,000-meter course in 21:06.59. The only other WWU woman to perform that feat was Sarah Porter in 2010.
Three weeks earlier, Steen took top honors at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, her time of 20:14 on the 6-kilometer course being a record by over 10 seconds for the 15-year-old meet. That earned her USTFCCCA National Division II Female Athlete of the Week and GNAC Female Athlete of the Year honors.
Steen earned USTFCCCA All-America honors in 2013 after placing 34th at nationals. She is a three-time USTFCCCA West Region and GNAC all-star.
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Last spring, Steen placed fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the DII track nationals to earn USTFCCCA All-America recognition. Her time of 10:20.66 was a school record. Steen also was named Outstanding Female Performer at the GNAC Track and Field Championships.
Another WWU athlete receiving 2014 USTFCCCA West Region cross country all-star honors, besides Steen, was Isaac Griffith, who placed 12th in the men’s run. It was the second straight year he earned that distinction.
Both the WWU men’s and women’s squads compete in the NCAA II National Championships on Saturday, Dec. 6, at Louisville, Kentucky.