Former H-DNL runner named UC Santa Cruz athlete of the year

UC Santa Cruz Athletics – Riley Martel-Phillips, right, after receiving her award earlier this month. Also pictured are UC Santa Cruz athletes Helena Janku and Shea Wissler.

Former H-DNL standout Riley Martel-Phillips capped an impressive collegiate career with a prestigious award recently.

Earlier this month, the 2019 Arcata High graduate was named UC Santa Cruz Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

Martel-Phillips was a member of the Santa Cruz cross country and track and field teams and is coming off a memorable year competing for both.

She set a new standard for the school in cross country after placing 41st at the NCAA Division-III Cross Country Championships, which was the best finish ever by a Banana Slug at nationals.

Martel-Phillips also was the 3,000 meter champion at the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, as well as taking first in both the 1,500m and 5K at the conference outdoor championships.

Her best time in the 5K earlier this year (17 minutes, 17.72 seconds) broke a school record that had stood since 2009. 

Martel-Phillips was also named All-Region in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field.

During her time at Arcata High, Martel-Phillips was a three-time H-DNL cross country champion.

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