Ellie Child (left) and Hailey Whetten (right) were the top two finishers for the women's team on Saturday. Child placed second overall with a time of (Source: Paul Pilkington)
Ellie Child (left) and Hailey Whetten (right) were the top two finishers for the women’s team on Saturday. Child placed second overall with a time of (Source: Paul Pilkington)

Weber State Women’s Cross Country had a successful run at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, KY on Saturday, finishing 22nd in the nation.

“We did well, I’m super proud of our team,” said Ellie Child. “We went in to the meet ranked 25 behind Utah and BYU and came out 22nd and the top team from Utah.”

The Wildcats had a total of 558 points and finished 22nd overall. They placed ahead of Brigham Young University who was 23rd and the University of Utah who was 26th.

“The girls ran a really great race today and to finish 22nd in the country is an outstanding accomplishment,” said coach Paul Pilkington. “Our top runners really ran well and Hailey led the way. She was just 10 seconds away from being an All-American. This has been a great year for us and today was a fantastic way to end the season.”

Weber’s top runner Hailey Whetten finished with an overall time of 20:37.6 on the 6K course placing her at 64th overall in the field. Ellie was Weber’s second runner with an overall time of 20:56.7 and came in at 115th. Jamie Stokes came in third for Weber with a time of 20:59.0 and finished 119th. Paige Dilmore was next with 21:30.8 and placed 189th. The Wildcats fifth runner was Alice Neville who had a time of 22:13.6 and placed at 234th.

“We worked really hard all year and had the goal of nationals in our minds from the beginning,” said Child.  “We just need to continue to set our sights high and work hard for our goals.”

This was Weber State’s sixth time advancing to the NCAA Championship. It was also their third time in the last five years. Placing 22nd is tied for the third best finish in WSU’s Cross Country history.

This wraps up another season for the Wildcats. The team claimed the Big Sky Conference title for another time which makes it four in the last five years. Coach Pilkington was named Big Sky Coach of the Year for the fourth time as well.

“We are a talented group that will only be better next year,” said Child, “and if we continue to trust in the training and do the little things everyday that we are supposed to, we will be even more successful next year!”

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