Wildcats' Pilkington earns Big Sky coaching honor

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 2:28 PM

Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN -- For the third year in a row, Weber State’s Paul Pilkington has been named the Big Sky Conference women’s cross country coach of the year. Pilkington captured the honor in a vote of the league’s head coaches after guiding the Wildcats to their third-straight Big Sky title last week.

Pilkington led the Wildcat women to their seventh overall conference title last week at the conference meet in Bozeman, Mont. Weber State totaled 55 points at the meet, finishing nine points ahead of second-place Northern Arizona.

WSU freshman Summer Harper won the meet with a time of 16:54.2. She became just the fifth Weber State athlete to win the individual title. Harper was followed by her teammate Jamie Stokes, who finished sixth with a time of 17:15.4, Hailey Ricks, who was eighth with a time of 17:16.4 and senior Amber Henry, a two-time conference champion finished 10th.

All four earned all-conference honors.

Weber State’s season continues next week when the Wildcats host the NCAA Mountain Region Cross Country Championships Nov. 15 at Schneiter’s Riverside Golf Course in Riverdale. The WSU women’s team is currently ranked fourth in the Mountain Region polls and the ‘Cats captured the region title last season. The Wildcat men’s team is ranked 13th in the Mountain Region.

This is Pilkington’s third career cross country coach of the year award. He is currently in his seventh season as head cross country coach at Weber State. He was hired on December 2006 after serving as an assistant coach the previous two years.

He previously was the head cross country coach at the University of Illinois from 2003-05.

As an athlete Pilkington was a two time national champion winning once in the marathon and once in the 20K.He won both the Houston Marathon in 1990 and the Los Angeles Marathon in 1994. He was a four-time Olympic Trials qualifier. In 1995 he was a member of the US Track and Field Team representing the United States at the World Championships in Sweden.

A native of Blackfoot, Idaho, Pilkington ran track and field at the College of Southern Idaho before coming to compete at Weber State where he earned All-America honors in the steeplechase.

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