Mali Mack 1

Meridian senior speedster Mali Mack helped two girls relay squads to fifth-place finishes at the state track meet this past spring. (Emma Forbes/Lynden Tribune)

Impressive for Meridian now, she has a story of recovery to tell, however

LAUREL — Mali Mack, Meridian girls soccer and track and field standout, has signed to play for the Western Washington University women’s soccer team.

Mack, a two-year captain for the Trojans soccer and track teams, got a call from Western in January 2019, fairly late in the recruiting process. She had drawn interest from Whitworth University in Spokane and Whatcom Community College, but Western was the best fit, she said.

“I was really honored and shocked,” Mack said. “It feels pretty good. Western is such a great program and I’m honored to be a part of it now.”

Mack did soccer, track, cross country and basketball in her high school career and was a first-team All-Northwest Conference selection in soccer her senior year and an All-State honorable mention defender.

Also a track star for the Trojans the past few springs, Mack owns school records in the 100-meter dash (12.39) and 200-meter dash (25.78). She placed third in the 100 and fifth in the 200 at the 1A state track and field championships on May 25.

The senior speedster was also recruited by Western to play track, but she decided to focus on one sport — the one she knows best.

“It was actually a really hard decision,” Mack said. “I figured it was such a great opportunity to play soccer at Western because they’re such a great program. I knew I couldn’t pass that up. I like that it’s a team sport, that I get to play with girls who have the same love for soccer. I’ve played since kindergarten, so it’s what I know.”

Western women’s soccer won the national title in 2016 and finished 2018 ranked No. 11 in the nation for Division II. The Vikings, led by 15-year coach Travis Connell, have been regular-season Great Northwest Athletic Conference champs six of the last seven years and are on a run of seven consecutive NCAA tournament

Eric Trent covers sports for the Lynden Tribune.