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BRIEF: Two WWU track athletes make history

McDermott and Wright run their way into the record books

Runners Kevin McDermott and Sophie Wright break records at the UW invitational on Jan. 27, 2024 in Seattle, Wash. // Courtesy of WWU Athletics 

Several indoor school records were broken on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, at the UW Invitational in Seattle, by distance runner Kevin McDermott and middle distance runner Sophie Wright

McDermott broke the Western Washington University record for the indoor 5K with a time of 13:50.77 and the mile with a time of 4:02.13. 

“I was pretty confident, especially going into the 5K,” McDermott said. “I knew I was in shape to break 14 and qualify for nationals.” 

McDermott expressed he was surprised at how fast he was going during the 5K.

“With a lap to go, I saw the time and was like, ‘Holy crap!’ Coming down the straight, I could see the clock and I started smiling – that’s cool,” McDermott said.

McDermott said he wasn’t focused on the mile, but it was a bonus when he broke the school record. 

“[I was] trying to break the 5K and 3K because that’s what it’s going to take to be able [to] compete at the national level,” McDermott said. 

Wright broke the women’s indoor mile record with a time of 4:52.96.

“Even the day of the race, the indoor record wasn’t on my mind,” Wright said. “It was a huge confidence booster and now I want to get into those record books more.”

Going into the week, Wright said she could sense that something special was going to transpire.

“During the workouts, I was feeling ready to rip,” Wright said. “We were hitting paces that were super good, super fast, while feeling totally in control and smooth.” 

Despite the confidence, Wright wasn’t fully ready for meet day. 

“I wear this necklace and it felt like it was choking me – I started focusing on not the right things,” Wright said. “I need to dial in, I’m gonna have fun, it’s gonna hurt, but that’s like the best part of racing.” 

Even amid the race, Wright knew she was on pace to make history.

“When I saw the clock with like five meters to go, I was like ‘Woah, that’s crazy!’” Wright said. “I was super stoked when I was rounding that last corner and saw where the clock was at – and I was like ‘That’s pretty cool.’”

The Vikings’ next meet is Feb. 9 to 10 at the Husky Classic in Seattle.

Aiden Luhr

Aiden Luhr is a junior at Western and a sports reporter for The Front. He is a journalism news/editorial major and enjoys anything sports related. You can reach him at

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