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Ceili McCabe wins back-to-back NCAA conference titles

MUST SEE: McCabe puts in an unbelievable final surge to win her second straight Big 12 Championship

Ceili McCabe Photo by: West Virginia Athletics

Ceili McCabe of Vancouver won her second straight NCAA Big-12 Conference Championship on Friday in Lubbock, Texas, winning the women’s 6K in 20:08.

The third-year runner at West Virginia University sat in fourth place with one kilometre to go, but put in a legendary kick in the final 400m to beat the Oklahoma State University trio of Taylor Roe, Billah Jepkirui, and Natalie Cook to take the victory.

McCabe was in raw emotion as she crossed the finished line, pointing at the orange ribbon on her left chest, which she wore in honour of her teammate Petal Palmer, from Toronto, who was diagnosed with leukemia in September. 

Last year, she became the first runner in school history to win an individual conference title, and now she also becomes the first runner to win back-to-back.

Ceili McCabe of West Virginia University. Photo: West Virginia Athletics

She has been flawless on the season so far, winning every XC race she has entered. Her win earns her a spot at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship in State College, Pa., on Nov. 11.

Her win helped the West Virginia women’s team land on the podium behind Oklahoma State University for second place, their highest finish at Big 12’s in program history.

Toronto’s Mikaela Lucki and Charlotte Wood of Bracebridge, Ont., also gave a helping hand to West Virginia with a 10th and 11th place finish.

Earlier this summer, McCabe made her senior Team Canada debut at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, where she was the top Canadian finisher for 29th in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase.

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