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More Record Track Performances Lead Weekly Honors
Anna Paradee (left) reset her own GNAC record in the women's pole vault while Christina MacDonald broke teammate McKenzie Warren's GNAC record in the women's hammer.
Anna Paradee (left) reset her own GNAC record in the women's pole vault while Christina MacDonald broke teammate McKenzie Warren's GNAC record in the women's hammer.

Monday, May 8, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two more GNAC record-setting performances and improvement of NCAA Championships provisional qualifying marks lead the final week of selections for GNAC Athletes of the Week for the 2016-17 season.

Both records came in the women’s field events with the two athletes sharing the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honors. Western Washington’s Anna Paradee reset her own record in the pole vault as she placed second at the Ken Shannon Invitational with a mark of 13 feet, 1.75 inches. The performance automatically qualifies Paradee for the NCAA Championships and is sixth in Division II this season.

Concordia’s Christina MacDonald broke the GNAC record in the women’s hammer at the Linfield Open. Her winning mark of 187 feet, 2 inches, surpassed the mark of 185 feet, 10 inches set earlier this season by teammate McKenzie Warren. In addition, MacDonald placed second in the shot put and third in the javelin.

Simon Fraser’s Addy Townsend improved her lifetime best and NCAA provosional qualifying mark in the 800 meters at the Oxy Invitational to earn Women’s Track Athlete of the Week honors. Townsend placed second (behind a Division I athlete) with a time of 2:07.99, which ranks sixth in Division II this season and is No. 9 on the GNAC all-time list.

Western Oregon’s David Ribich was named the Men’s Track Athlete of the Week after he won the invitiational section of the 1,500 meters against an elite field at the Oregon Twilight. Ribich won the race in a time of 3:45.01 to edge out Division I indoor All-American Mick Stanovsek of Oregon.

Saint Martin’s Mikel Smith, the defending national champion in the men’s high jump, was named Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after he provisionally qualified for nationals in the event at the Ken Shannon Invitational. Smith won the event with a clearance of 6 feet, 11 inches, which ranks Smith tied for ninth in Division II this season.

Montana State Billings’ Jalen Garcia was selected as the final Baseball Player of the Week for the season. Garcia hit .467 to lead the Yellowjackets to a series victory over Central Washington, going 7 for 15 with a double, two home runs and eight RBIs. His ledger included a game-tying two-run home run in Saturday’s finale, which the Yellowjackets won 5-4.

Western Oregon’s Cam Walker was named the Baseball Pitcher of the Week for his starting performance in an 8-3 win over Saint Martin’s on Wednesday. In eight innings, Walker allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. It was Walker’s first win of the season.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 36
BASEBALL PLAYER
Jalen Garcia
(Montana State Billings, OF/P, 6-0, So., Billings, Mont. – Corban Univ.): Garcia hit .467 in four games as the Yellowjackets took three games in the four-game series with Central Washington, going 7 for 15 with a double, two home runs and eight RBIs. He went 2 for 6 and had four RBIs, including a three-run homr in the second, in the series-opening 19-11 win on Friday and went 3 for 3 in Saturday’s finale, including a two-homer homer that tied the game for MSUB in the sixth inning. Also Nominated: Connor McCord (Western Oregon), Austin Feist (Saint Martin’s), Christopher Dalto (Central Washington), Mitch Bevacqua (Concordia), Casey Sheehan (Northwest Nazarene).

BASEBALL PITCHER
Cam Walker
(Western Oregon, P, 6-6, Jr., Naches, Wash. – Walla Walla CC): Walker earned the win in the Wolves’ 8-3 win over Saint Martin’s on Wednesday. In eight innings, he allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. It was Walker’s first win of the season in his third start of the year. Also Nominated: Aaron Shoup (Saint Martin’s), Steen Frederickson (Montana State Billings), James Brooks (Concordia), Brady Baker (Northwest Nazarene).

MEN’S TRACK
David Ribich
(Western Oregon, Jr., Enterprise, Ore. - Enterprise): Ribich won the invitational section of the 1,500 meters at the Oregon Twilight. Running as the only Division II competitor amongst a field of Division I and elite athletes, Ribich won in a time of 3:45.01 to just edge out Division I indoor All-American Mick Stanovsek of Oregon. Also Nominated: Latrelle Swayne (Saint Martin’s).

MEN’S FIELD
Mikel Smith
(Saint Martin’s, Sr., Muskogee, Okla.): Smith won the high jump at the Ken Shannon Invitational. His clearance of 6 feet, 11 inches, is a NCAA Championships provisional qualifier and ties him for ninth in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Wesley Gray (Western Oregon), Isaiah Girard (Montana State Billings), Gordie Kordas (Western Washington), Jakob Chamberlin (Concordia).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Addy Townsend
(Simon Fraser, So., Coquitlam, B.C. – Charles Best): Townsend ran a personal best in the 800 meters at the Oxy Invitational, placing second in a time of 2:07.99. The mark leads the GNAC, moves her to No. 9 on the GNAC all-time list and is sixth best in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Olivia Woods (Western Oregon), Claire McCloskey (Saint Martin’s).

WOMEN’S FIELD
Anna Paradee
(Western Washington, Jr., Tacoma, Wash. – Decatur): Paradee reset her own GNAC record in the pole vault at the Ken Shannon Invitational. Her second place clearance of 13 feet, 1.75 inches, automatically qualifies her for the NCAA Championships and ranks sixth in Division II this season.

Christina MacDonald (Concordia, Jr., Myrtle Creek, Ore. – Oregon State Univ.): MacDonald set the GNAC record in the hammer, winning at the Linfield Open with a throw of 187 feet, 2 inches. That broke the record of 185 feet, 10 inches, set by teammate McKenzie Warren earlier this year. MacDonald also picked up a victory in the shot put at 51 feet, 11.75 inches, and the javelin at 158 feet, 1 inch. The javelin mark moves MacDonald up to eighth on the GNAC all-time list. Also Nominated: Rachael Huffman (Western Oregon), Claire Palmiter (Saint Martin’s), Brenna Beckett (Montana State Billings).

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