Eastern steeplechase standout from Spain has a time of 10:56:51 in the finals in Eugene last Saturday
Sophomore Paula Gil-Echevarria finished 14th overall at the World Junior Championships last Saturday (July 26) at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Gil-Echevarria raced in the finals of the steeplechase against some of best competitors in the world, posting a time of 10:56:51 while representing her native Spain. She had advanced to the finals with a time of 10:17.17 in the preliminaries to rank as the second-fastest time in Spanish under-20 history. She also bested her previous top personal mark of 10:29.03 by more than 11 seconds.
Her 10:29.03 time for EWU in the steeplechase is third in school history behind teammates Catie Arrigoni (10:14.99) and Katie Mahoney (10:17.34). She enters her sophomore year at Eastern in 2014-15 and is originally from Madrid.
She had a time of 10:47 at the Spain National Championships earlier this summer after having a season-best time of 10:29.03 on May 2 in Corvallis, Ore. She went on to finish fifth at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships in Flagstaff, Ariz., to complete a 1-3-5 finish for the Eagles. She also placed ninth in the Big Sky in the 1,500 and was eighth indoors in the mile run.
Her top times so far at Eastern are 2:17.35 in the 800 (indoors), 4:34.11 in the 1,500 and 5:00.50 in the mile. Gil-Echevarria also competed in cross country last fall, finishing 25th at the league championships (second among EWU runners). She earned Big Sky Conference All-Academic honors three times this past year in cross country, and both indoors and outdoors in track and field.
While in high school in Madrid, she had personal bests in the 800 of 2:13.80 and in the 1,500 of 4:41.42. She was second in the 1,500 at the Spain National U19 Championships.