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Vikings Softball, Seawolves Track Lead Weekly Awards
Emily Benson (left) hit .565 over eight games for Western Washington. Alaska Anchorage's Caroline Kurgat set the Division II record in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational.
Emily Benson (left) hit .565 over eight games for Western Washington. Alaska Anchorage's Caroline Kurgat set the Division II record in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational.

Monday, April 1, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – A pair of dominant weekends for Western Washington’s softball program and Alaska Anchorage’s track and field program provided for the majority of the GNAC Player of the Week award winners.

We begin on the softball diamond, where seniors Emily Benson and Makinlee Sellevold led the Vikings to a 7-1 week and a 5-0 mark at the Tournament of Champions. Benson was named the Softball Player of the Week after she hit .565 in those eight games, going 13 for 23 with nine runs, 14 RBI, four doubles and five home runs. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament of Champions after she hit .600 in the tournament (9 for 15) to lead WWU to a 5-0 record.

Sellevold was named the Softball Pitcher of the Week after she amassed a 5-1 record in six appearances and five starts. In 34 innings, she allowed 10 runs, seven earned, and struck out 17. She allowed one run on six hits to win the opener against Simon Fraser on Monday, 9-1 in five innings, and returned in relief in the second game to allow one hit in four innings to earn the 10-5 win. Sellevold allowed two runs on 19 hits and struck out 13 in three starts at the Tournament of Champions to earn All-Tournament Team honors. Her three starts was capped by a six-hit shutout with six strikeouts against Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday.

Senior Caroline Kurgat led three Alaska Anchorage selections for weekly track honors. She was selected as the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week after she set the NCAA Division II record in the 10,000 meters as she ran a time of 32:08.29 at the Stanford Invitational. That blew away the previous record of 32:28.57 set by Sylvia Mosqueda of Cal State LA in 1988. The time, which automatically qualifies Kurgat for the NCAA Championships, is the third-best in all college divisions this season.

Seawolves’ senior Chrisalyn Johnson repeated as the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week after she reset her own school record in the triple jump and set a new mark in the long jump at the Mike Fanelli Track Classic. Winning both events, Johnson finished with a mark of 40 feet, 1.5 inches in the triple jump that ranks No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List and No. 9 in Division II this season. Her winning mark of 19 feet, 2.5 inches is tied for No. 8 in Division II this season and No. 8 on the GNAC All-Time List.

On the men’s side, UAA senior Edwin Kangogo was named the Men’s Track Athlete of the Week for his efforts in the top section of the steeplechase at the Mike Fanelli Track Classic. Kangogo placed sixth in a time of 8:56.08, which ranks No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List. The performance is also second in Division II this season behind Jake Mitchem of Colorado Mines, who finished just ahead of Kangogo in the race at 8:56.02.

Western Washington senior JT Konrad was selected as the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after he won the pole vault at the UBC Open in Vancouver, B.C. Konrad cleared 15 feet, 9 inches, which ties him for No. 13 in Division II this season.

Western Oregon junior Alex Roth added to the record weekend. He was named the Baseball Pitcher of the Week after he allowed three runs over seven innings to beat Saint Martin’s 3-0 on Saturday. Roth struck out 15 batters in the contest, setting a WOU record and tying the GNAC single-game record. To date, Roth has an average of 14 strikeouts per game in five starts.

Montana State Billings senior Landon Peterson was named the Baseball Player of the Week for his offensive effort in the Yellowjackets’ series win at Concordia. Peterson batted .385 in the four games, going 5 for 13 with three runs, eight RBI, two home runs and five walks. His ledger included a grand slam in the third inning of the Saturday’s opener.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 31
BASEBALL PLAYER
Landon Peterson
(Montana State Billings, C, 5-9, Sr., Boise, Idaho – Capital): Peterson led the Yellowjackets in a series win over Concordia with a .385 batting average over the four games, going 5 for 13 with three runs, eight RBI, two home runs and five walks. Peterson had a two-run homer and drew a bases-loaded walk for his three RBI in Friday’s 14-6 win in the opener before going 2 for 4 in the nightcap. He opened Saturday by going 2 for 4 with two runs and a grand slam in the third inning. Also Nominated: Kyler Kedroske (Concordia), Parker Price (Northwest Nazarene), Aaron Renaud (Saint Martin’s), Patrick Chung (Western Oregon).

BASEBALL PITCHER
Alex Roth
(Western Oregon, RHP, 6-5, Jr., Peoria, Ariz. – Mountain Ridge): Roth allowed three hits and one walk over seven innings in a 3-0 victory over Saint Martin’s on Saturday. In the process, Roth struck out 15 batters, setting a Western Oregon record and tying him for the GNAC single-game record with five other players. At one point, Roth struck out seven batters in a row from the first to the third innings and is now averaging 14 strikeouts per nine innings. Also Nominated: Dylan Diaz (Concordia), Jesse Hilyard (Northwest Nazarene), Steen Fredrickson (Montana State Billings), Clark Streby (Saint Martin’s).

SOFTBALL PLAYER
Emily Benson
(Western Washington, 1B, 5-10, Sr., West Richland, Wash. – Kamiakin): Benson batted .565 in eight games last week, going 13 for 23 with nine runs, 14 RBI, four doubles and five home runs. She was named the Most Valuable Player at the Tournament of Champions after she led the Vikings to five wins. Benson opened the week by going 2 for 3 with a pair of home runs on Monday at Simon Fraser and then hit two more homers on Wednesday against Sonoma State. Benson batted .600 in the Tournament of Champions, which included a 3 for 3 performance against Azusa Pacific on Friday and a 5 for 5 game against Dominican (Calif.) on Saturday that included three runs, seven RBI and her 13th home run, which broke the WWU single-season record. Also Nominated: Savannah Egbert (Central Washington), Devyn Connolly (Saint Martin’s), Paityn Willoughby (Concordia), Ayanna Arceneaux (Western Oregon).

SOFTBALL PITCHER
Makinlee Sellevold
(Western Washington, P/IF, 5-4, Sr., Everett, Wash. – Cascade): Sellevold went 5-1 in the circle in six appearances and five starts. She amassed a 1.44 earned run average, allowing 10 runs, seven earned, with 17 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched. She opened the week by holding Simon Fraser to one run on six hits with two strikeouts in Monday’s 9-1, five-inning win, and then came back to allow one run in four innings of relief in the nightcap. Sellevold allowed just two runs on 19 hits with 13 strikeouts in three wins at the Tournament of Champions, topped by an effort against Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday where she allowed six hits struck out six in a 7-0 shutout. She was named to the All-Tournament Team. Also Nominated: Samantha Stanfield (Central Washington), Sally Bowles (Concordia), Maddy Lincoln (Montana State Billings), Brandi Schoessler (Saint Martin’s), Haley Fabian (Western Oregon).

MEN’S TRACK
Edwin Kangogo
(Alaska Anchorage, Sr., Eldoret, Kenya – Tambach): One of two GNAC competitors in the top section of the steeplechase at the Mike Fanelli Track Classic, Kangogo placed eighth with a time of 8:56.08. The NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark ranks second in Division II this season behind Jake Mitchem of Colorado Mines, who edged Kangogo out for seventh (8:56.02). The time also ranks fourth on the GNAC All-Time List. Also Nominated: Daniel Calderon (Central Washington), Pierre-Louis Detourbe (Simon Fraser), Curt Knott (Western Oregon), Dylan Hayes (Western Washington).

MEN’S FIELD
JT Konrad
(Western Washington, Sr., Spokane, Wash. – Mount Spokane): Konrad established an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark in the pole vault, winning the event at the UBC Open. Konrad cleared 15 feet, 9 inches, which ties him for 13th in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Ethan Tonder (Central Washington), Giovanni Brown (Concordia), Brady Ostermiller (Montana State Billings), Jake Knight (Northwest Nazarene), Tyler Cronk (Saint Martin’s), Owen Collins (Western Oregon).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Caroline Kurgat
(Alaska Anchorage, Sr., Eldoret, Kenya – Kapkenda): Kurgat broke her third Division II record of the season and her first of the outdoor campaign, the only Division II competitor in the invitational section of the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational, Kurgat placed fifth with a time of 32:08.29. That blew away the previous Division II best of 32:28.57 set by Sylvia Mosqueda of Cal State LA in 1988. The NCAA Championships automatic qualifying time ranks No. 3 in all college divisions this season. Also Nominated: Alexa Shindruk (Central Washington), Macie Allen (Concordia), Kaylee Mitchell (Seattle Pacific), Julia Howley (Simon Fraser), Grayson Burke (Western Oregon), Sophia Galvez (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S FIELD
Chrisalyn Johnson
(Alaska Anchorage, Sr., Anchorage, Alaska – Dimond): Johnson reset her UAA record in the triple jump and set a new record in the long jump while winning both events at the Mike Fanelli Track Classic. Johnson won the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet, 1.5 inches, becoming the fourth athlete in GNAC history to clear 40 feet in the event. She ranks ninth in Division II this season. She went on to take the long jump with a mark of 19 feet, 2.5 inches, which is tied for No. 8 in Division II this season and No. 8 on the GNAC All-Time List. Also Nominated: Brooke Williams (Central Washington), Tiffany Pott (Saint Martin’s), Darian Wilson (Western Oregon), Paige Shimkus (Western Washington).

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