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Track & Field Record Breakers Lead Player Of Week Honorees
Western Washington's Bethany Drake reset her own Vikings' and GNAC record in the women's javelin. Her mark of 171-7 is 10th all-time in Division II history.
Western Washington's Bethany Drake reset her own Vikings' and GNAC record in the women's javelin. Her mark of 171-7 is 10th all-time in Division II history.

Monday, May 2, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – A quartet of record performances, including four school records and one conference mark, in track and field lead this week’s GNAC Player of the Week selections.

Western Washington’s Bethany Drake was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week after she broke her own school and conference records in the javelin to win at the Ralph Vernacchia Invitational in Bellingham. Drake’s mark of 171 feet, 7 inches, bettered her own mark of 169 feet, 6 inches, set in 2014 and ranks as the 10th best mark in the event in Division II history.

Northwest Nazarene’s Payton Lewis and Taylor Deskins both set school records in their respective events. Lewis was named the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after he set a school record of 17 feet, 0.75 inches, in the pole vault at the Idaho/Utah Border Clash. Lewis became just the second athlete in GNAC history to clear 17 feet in the pole vault and automatically qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships. He currently has the third best mark in Division II this season.

Deskins was named the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week as she became the first NNU athlete to run under 12 seconds in the 100 meters. Deskins ran 11.95 seconds at the Idaho/Utah Border Clash to move to No. 3 on the GNAC all-time list. She placed fifth in the race and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships.

Montana State Billings’ Robert Peterson was named the Men’s Track Athlete of the Week after he set the Yellowjackets’ school record in the 800 meters at the Montana Open. Running the event for just the second time as a collegian, Peterson won in a time of 1:53.18, surpassing the previous record of 1:55.09 by Drew Galahan in 2014. Peterson also won the the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:28.07.

The Yellowjackets also had a weekly award winner on the baseball diamond. Adam Cox was named the Baseball Player of the Week after he helped lead MSUB to four wins in their five games against Western Oregon. Cox hit .474 in the five games with two doubles, six RBI and six runs. He also pitched in four games, picking up the win in the Yellowjackets’ 4-3 victory over the Wolves on Wednesday along with two saves over the weekend.

Central Washington’s Mackenzie Gaul was selected as the Baseball Pitcher of the Week following his win in Saturday’s 8-2, first game victory over Northwest Nazarene. In six innings, Gaul allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits and three walks while striking out eight.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 35
BASEBALL PLAYER
Adam Cox
(Montana State Billings, P, 6-3, Sp., Encino, Calif. - Taft): Cox batted .474 in the Yellowjackets’ five-game series with Western Oregon as the team went 4-1 to keep their GNAC Championships hopes alive. In Wednesday’s rain make-up game, Cox went 2 for 3 with a double and a home run and drove in all four runs in a 4-3 victory. He also pitched in four games, picking up the win on Wednesday and two saves over the weekend. Also Nominated: Ryan Atkinson (Central Washington), Austin Feist (Saint Martin’s), Garrett Moser (Concordia), Spencer Pollack (Northwest Nazarene).

BASEBALL PITCHER
Mackenzie Gaul
(Central Washington, P/OF, 6-0, So., Winlock, Wash. – Univ. of Washington): Gaul picked up the win in Saturday’s 8-2 first game victory over Northwest Nazarene, allowing two runs, one earned, on just three hits and three walks while striking out eight in six innings of work. He helped the Wildcats procure a four-game sweep of the Crusaders. Also Nominated: Cody Cooper (Montana State Billings), Mickey Walker (Saint Martin’s).

MEN’S TRACK
Robert Peterson
(Montana State Billings, Sr., Billings, Mont. - Skyview): The senior won the 800 meters at Saturday’s Montana Open in just his second time running the event collegiately. His time of 1:53.18 set the MSUB school record, surpassing the previous mark of 1:55.09 by Drew Galahan in 2014. Peterson also won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:28.07, third best in the GNAC this season after altitude conversion. Also Nominated: Jasper Heckman (Saint Martin’s), Kyle McLaughlin (Northwest Nazarene), Jared Seckel (Concordia).

MEN’S FIELD
Payton Lewis
(Northwest Nazarene, So., Nampa, Idaho – Nampa Christian): Lewis set the NNU record in the pole vault and hit an automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Division II Championships, placing second at the Idaho/Utah Border Clash with a mark of 17 feet, 0.75 inches. He became just the second athlete in GNAC history to clear 17 feet and currently ranks third in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Nels Flanagan (Montana State Billings), J.T. Konrad (Western Washington), Mikel Smith (Saint Martin’s), Jimmy Wheeler (Concordia).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Taylor Deskins
(Northwest Nazarene, Jr., Corvallis, Ore. – Corban Univ.): Deskins became the first NNU athlete to ever run under 12 seconds in the women’s 100 meters, setting the school record at 11.95 seconds at the Idaho/Utah Border Clash. She finished in fifth place overall and moved up to No. 3 on the GNAC all-time list. Deskins went on to place ninth in the 200 meters in 25.04 seconds and ran on the Crusaders’ fourth place 4x400-meter relay team. Also Nominated: Jahzelle Ambus (Seattle Pacific), Makenzee Cleveland-Aguirre (Concordia), Shannon Porter (Saint Martin’s), Josey Smiedala (Montana State Billings).

WOMEN’S FIELD
Bethany Drake
(Western Washington, Jr., Sandy, Ore. - Sandy): Drake reset her own Western Washington and GNAC records in the javelin on her home field, winning at WWU’s Ralph Vernacchia Invitational with a mark of 171 feet, 7 inches. The mark surpassed her previous record of 169 feet, 6 inches, set in 2014, is third best in Division II this season and is 10th best all-time in Division II history. Also Nominated: Ellie Logan (Northwest Nazarene), Kirby Neale (Saint Martin’s), Rachel Siltman (Concordia).

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