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Ribich, Warren Land Weekly Honors With Leading Marks
David Ribich (left) set a WOU school record in the 3,000 meters while McKenzie Warren notched Division II's best mark this season in the shot put. Photos by Loren Orr.
David Ribich (left) set a WOU school record in the 3,000 meters while McKenzie Warren notched Division II's best mark this season in the shot put. Photos by Loren Orr.

Monday, January 16, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Competing against Division I competition brings out the best in athletes, and Western Oregon’s David Ribich and Concordia’s McKenzie Warren made the most of it to lead the list of GNAC Player of the Week honorees.

Competing in a loaded section that included Olympic 1,500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz, Ribich succeeded in setting a Western Oregon record in the 3,000 meters, placing 10th with a time of 8:13.94. The performance, which earned Ribich GNAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week honors, is also No. 5 on the GNAC all-time list, is a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships and ranks fifth in Division II this season.

Warren picked up where she left off at the end of last year’s indoor season, picking up the first Women’s Field Athlete of the Week award of the season. She won the shot put at the UW Preview with a mark of 54 feet, 8 inches, a performance that is the best in Division II this season and seventh best at all Division II levels. Warren also placed third in her flight of the weight throw with a mark of 53 feet, 3.75 inches.

Seattle Pacific’s Mary Charleson scored a pair of NCAA Championships provisional marks to earn selection as the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week. She won section three of the mile at the UW Preview with a time of 4:58.95. The performance, a 12-second indoor personal best, leads the GNAC and is fourth best in Division II. Charleson also won the second section of the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:48.85. It was her first indoor 3,000-meter race and is the sixth best mark in Division II.

Western Washington’s Brandon Pless was named the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after he threw two GNAC-leading marks at the UW Preview. He finished with a mark of 50 feet, 5.25 inches in the shot put and then added a mark of 53 feet, 11.25 inches in the weight throw. He was the top Division II competitor in both events.

On the basketball court, Montana State Billings’ Preston Beverly picked up his second Men’s Basketball Player of the Week award after he led the Yellowjackets to a pair of key wins over the Alaska Schools. He opened with 22 points on 8 of 16 from the field to go along with six rebounds and six assists in MSUB’s 69-68 win over Alaska Anchorage on Thursday. He then connected for a career high 28 points in the Yellowjackets’ 99-94 win over Alaska. His line included 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and four blocks.

Simon Fraser’s Meg Wilson gave the Clan its second consecutive Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after she scored 35 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a pair of wins. She scored 14 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists in Thursday’s 71-61 win over Seattle Pacific. Wilson returned to score 21 points on 9 of 12 from the field to go along with six rebounds, six assists and two steals in a 92-61 win over Saint Martin’s.

This week’s GNAC Player of the Week selections recognize six student-athletes from six different member institutions.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 20
MEN’S BASKETBALL
Preston Beverly
(Montana State Billings, F, 6-7, So., Wildomar, Calif. – Elsinore): The sophomore averaged 25 points and eight rebounds in the two games, helping lead the Yellowjackets to two wins over the Alaska schools. Beverly scored 22 points on 8 of 16 from the field to go along with six rebounds and six assists in a close 69-68 win on Thursday over Alaska Anchorage. He then came up with a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds in MSUB’s 99-94 win over Alaska, shooting 9 of 20 from the field to go along with three assists, two steals and four blocks. Also Nominated: JJ Chirnside (Western Oregon), Bryan Michaels (Concordia), Deandre Dickson (Western Washington), Brandon Davis (Alaska), Maurice Jones (Northwest Nazarene).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Meg Wilson
(Simon Fraser, F, 6-1, Sr., London, Ont. – A.B. Lucas): Wilson totaled 35 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in SFU victories over Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s. In Thursday’s 71-61 win over the Falcons, Wilson scored 14 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists as the Clan came from behind to win. In Saturday’s 92-61 rout of Saint Martin’s, Wilson scored 21 points on 9 of 12 from the field with six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Also Nominated: Shelby Snook (Western Oregon), Tia Briggs (Western Washington), Jordan Wilson (Alaska), Rylee Kane (Montana State Billings), Lexi Tubbs (Northwest Nazarene).

MEN’S TRACK
David Ribich
(Western Oregon, Jr., Enterprise, Ore. – Enterprise): Competing in the same section at the UW Preview as 1,500 Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, Ribich hit a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:13.94. The time not only leads the conference and ranks fifth in Division II, but is also a Western Oregon school record and the fifth fastest mark in GNAC history. Also Nominated: Andrew Wise (Western Washington), Daniel Kelloway (Simon Fraser), Isaac Mitchell (Northwest Nazarene), Sam Zook (Montana State Billings).

MEN’S FIELD
Brandon Pless
(Western Washington, Sr., Sedro-Woolley, Wash. – Sedro-Woolley): Pless hit GNAC-leading marks in both throwing events at the UW Preview. He finished with a mark 50 feet, 5.25 inches in the second flight of the shot put and then placed fifth in the weight throw with a mark of 53 feet, 11.25 inches. He was the top NCAA Division II competitor in both events. Also Nominated: Jared Webster (Northwest Nazarene).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Mary Charleson
(Seattle Pacific, Jr., Mill Creek, Wash. – Henry M. Jackson): Charleson ran a pair of NCAA Championships provisional qualifying times at the UW Preview. She won section three of the mile with a time of 4:58.95, which leads the GNAC and is No. 4 in Division II this season. The performance was a 12-second personal best. Charleson also won section two of the 3,000 meters (her first ever indoor 3,000-meter race) in a time of 9:48.85. That also leads the GNAC and is No. 6 in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Suzanne Van de Grift (Western Oregon), Brittany Grant (Western Washington), Chantel Desch (Simon Fraser), Sierra Manzer (Northwest Nazarene).

WOMEN’S FIELD
McKenzie Warren
(Concordia, Sr., Boring, Ore. – Mt. Hood CC): Warren opened the indoor season by winning the shot put at the UW Preview. Her mark of 54 feet, 8 inches not only leads Division II, but is the seventh best mark this season in all NCAA divisions. Warren also placed third in her flight of the weight throw with a mark of 53 feet, 3.75 inches. Also Nominated: Anna Paradee (Western Washington), Hannah Thomas (Northwest Nazarene).

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