Reece becomes first female runner to land spot at Nationals

The cross country teams celebrates after Regionals.

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Seven members of the men's and women's cross country teams competed in the NCAA West Regionals earlier this morning. Freshman Arabella Reece headlined the Panthers, becoming just the second runner in school history to qualify for NCAA Nationals.

Reece ran the 6k race in 22:46.0 to take 11th place overall out of 125 runners, becoming the first female cross country runner in program history to earn All-West Region honors and a bid to nationals.

Sophomore Emma Eglinton was the next Panther to cross the finish line, running the best race of her career and finishing 63rd overall with a personal best time of 24:08.0.

Seniors Nika Cokas and Mia Hernandez rounded out the women, finishing just seven seconds apart and setting new season bests in their final race as Panthers. Cokas finished with a total time of 24:44.3 to take 86th, while Hernandez crossed the finish line just a few second later at 24:52.9, just mere seconds off her personal record.

Freshman Eli Haas rounded out his first year as a Panther with a new personal record in the 8k race. The rookie took 76th overall with a personal-best time of 27:16.4. Junior Drake Butler finished just a few seconds later in 80th place at 27:24.2. Freshman Ben Clark finished up his first season with a time of 28:13.0.

"We are so proud of our student athletes. This morning both men and women individuals came to regionals with the mindset of leaving it all on the course," head coach DeAndra'e Woods said. "Today this individuals knew that performing well on this stage is important for the future success of our program. Performing on the national level is our goal for the next few years."

Reece will travel to Oshkosh, Wis. on Saturday, Nov. 17 for the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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