Formerly a basketball standout from Almira, Wash., McKay earned All-America honors in the 10,000 meters for Eastern
Kari McKay, an All-America distance runner for the Eagles in the early 1990’s, has been selected as one of the 25 greatest female athletes in Big Sky Conference history. Recipient Nos. 20 and 21 on the list were revealed Thursday (Oct. 31) by the league.
McKay, who was inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007, made three appearances in the NCAA Championships in the early 1990's -- two in cross country and one in track. She earned All-America honors in the 10,000 meters on the track as a senior in 1992 when she placed fourth at the NCAA Championships with a 34:56.38 time.
She also become a well-known runner on the road race circuit after she broke five school records at Eastern, and won the 1998 Portland Marathon. For six-straight years she was the top local finisher at the Bloomsday road race in Spokane.
McKay graduated from Almira High School where she was not only a track standout, but scored 1,798 points in basketball from 1983-87. She also competed two seasons in track and cross country for Community Colleges of Spokane.
After 50 years of competition, the Big Sky Conference has begun a year-long journey celebrating the league's success both on and off the playing field by honoring 50 years of men's athletics and 25 years of women's athletics.
The 50th anniversary will celebrate the all-time individuals,
teams and moments in the Big Sky's history, including the selection
of the league's "50 Greatest Male Athletes" and the "25 Greatest
Female Athletes." Along with these lists, the league will unveil
the most memorable moments for both men's and women's
More on Kari McKay . . .
McKay made three appearances in the NCAA Championships in the
early 1990's -- two in cross country and one in track. She earned
All-America honors in the 10,000 meters on the track as a senior in
1992 when she placed fourth with a 34:56.38 time. Her time of
33:46.1 earlier that season was a school record and the
third-fastest in Big Sky Conference history. She placed 33rd
nationally in cross country in 1991, missing All-America honors by
two places (the top 25 finishers excluding foreign athletes). The
year before she was 69th. She scored 26 points single-handedly in
three events at the 1992 Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships,
with wins in the 3,000 and 5,000 to earn Track Athlete of the Meet
honors. At the Big Sky Cross Country Championships, she placed
fourth as a junior and second as a senior. In her career she won
six invitational cross country races. She broke five school
records, including all indoor and outdoor records in the 3,000
meters and above and a Big Sky Indoor Championships record in the
5,000 (16:35.08). She was selected as the NCAA Woman of the Year
for the State of Washington in 1992, and that same year she was
named to the Big Sky Conference Women's All-Decade Team in cross
country. A 3.60 student at Eastern, she earned her bachelor's
degree in therapeutic recreation in 1992. She was named to the Big
Sky All-Academic team six out of a possible six quarters at
Eastern. She went on to become one of the Pacific Northwest's
premier road runners. She won the Portland Marathon in October
1998, and placed 46th in the marathon at the 2004 Olympic Trials.
She also appeared in the Olympic Trials for the 2000 Olympics in
Sydney. Her best marathon time was 2:45:55 at the 1998 Portland
Marathon. For six-straight years from 1999-2004, she was the top
female finisher from Spokane in the prestigious Lilac Bloomsday
race in Spokane. At Bloomsday in 2004, she was 23rd among all
females and was third from the State of Washington with a time of
45:44. In 2003 she was second among competitors from the State of
Washington and 22nd overall among females with a time of 44:57. The
year prior she was also second among Washington runners and was
14th overall with a time of 43:41. Her best effort at Bloomsday
came in 1997 with a time of 41:32 when she placed 69th overall and
fifth among women. McKay graduated from Almira High School where
she was not only a track standout, but scored 1,798 points in
basketball from 1983-87. She also competed two seasons in track and
cross country for Community Colleges of Spokane.