South Surrey’s Maya Kobylanski has a new prize to add to her trophy case after winning the 3,000-m women’s steeplechase at the NCAA’s Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field Conference championship last week in Idaho.
Kobylanski, a Southridge School grad who now competes for the University of Idaho Vandals, won the event – held May 13 – in a time of 10 minutes, 23.33 seconds. Her winning time was more than three seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Jenna McCaffrey from Northern Arizona University. Kobylanski’s Idaho teammate, Katja Pattis, was third.
Kobylanski’s first-place finish helped the Vandals’ women’s team to a sixth-place overall team finish at the event; the school’s men’s team placed third.
Next up for Kobylanski and her teammates is a trip to Fayetteville, Ark. for NCAA West Regionals, which are scheduled for May 25-28.
“We had a few more punch their ticket to nationals today,” said Vandals’ director of track and field Tim Cawley in a news release on the school’s website. “I saw some great performances out of the Vandals and I’m excited for the next two weeks.”
Though Kobylanski’s time at the Big Sky championship was not a personal best by the raw numbers – her best-ever time is 10:18, which she ran at an event in California – it was largely a result of the high elevation at which the event, held in Pocatello, Idaho, was staged. Races at higher elevation are typically slower than those at lower elevation; once adjusted for elevation, her recent time would, in fact, be her top performance of the season.
Kobylanski is no stranger to the podium; last fall, she won a silver medal at Canadian Cross-Country Championships in Ottawa.