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High Jumpers Highlight Athlete Of The Week Awards
Saint Martin's Tyler Cronk (left) is tied for first in Division II after he cleared 7-0.5. Western Washington's Maddie Taylor has the best mark in Division II with her clearance of 5-8.5.
Saint Martin's Tyler Cronk (left) is tied for first in Division II after he cleared 7-0.5. Western Washington's Maddie Taylor has the best mark in Division II with her clearance of 5-8.5.

Monday, March 18, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two of the top high jumpers in Division II are in the GNAC and their performances at Saturday’s Doris Heritage Track Festival have earned the duo selection as GNAC Athletes of the Week.

Saint Martin’s freshman Tyler Cronk was named the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after he opened his outdoor season with a winning jump of 7 feet, 0.5 inches. Just the second athlete in GNAC history to clear seven feet in the event, Cronk moved into No. 2 on the GNAC All-Time List and notched an automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships as he is now tied for the best mark in Division II this season.

Western Washington senior Maddie Taylor earned the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week award for her winning performance in the high jump. Taylor’s clearance of 5 feet, 8.5 inches, moves her into a tie for fifth on the GNAC All-Time List. The top mark in Division II so far this season, Taylor ranks first nationally by an inch-and-a-half.

The Vikings swept the track weekly awards. Senior Dylan Hayes is the Men’s Track Athlete of the Week after he finished third in the steeplechase at the L&C Spring Break Open in Portland. His time of 9:25.37 is the leading time in the GNAC and No. 9 in Division II this season.

Senior Savannah Smith was named the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week for her win in the 400 meters in Seattle. Her time of 58.96 seconds leads the GNAC and ranks ninth in Division II this season.

Western Washington also swept the softball weekly awards with a pair of solid individual performances. Senior Emily Benson earned her second Softball Player of the Week award after she hit .583 in four home games. She went 7 for 12 with six runs, eight RBI and three home runs, including a pair of two-run shots and a three-run homer.

Senior Makinlee Sellevold also earned her second Softball Pitcher of the Week award after she allowed six runs, four earned, on 15 hits with 10 strikeouts in 12.2 innings in two starts. She took a no-decision after throwing 7.2 innings in Saturday’s opener with Central Washington, allowing five runs, three earned, on 11 hits with five strikeouts. Sellevold earned the win in Sunday’s 9-1 victory over Saint Martin’s, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts.

Western Washington was also part of the Men’s Golf Co-Player of the Week awards. Saint Martin’s sophomore Tyler Fitchett eanred the award after he won the Notre Dame de Namur Argonaut Invitational by one stroke, carding a 2-over-par 218. He opened the event with a low round 2-under-par 70. The Vikings also saw senior Nick Sparling shared the honor after he led WWU to its fifth team win in seven tournaments at the Notre Dame de Namur Argonaut Invitational. Sparling tied for second place with a three-round score of 3-over-par 219. He had his low round of 2-under-par 70 in the second round.

Montana State Billings’ senior Shealyn Hafer earned Women’s Golf Player of the Week honors after she tied for eighth place at the Winona State Invitational in Las Vegas. She shot a low round of 1-over-par 73 in the opening round and finished at 170 for the tournament to lead the Yellowjackets to a third-place team finish.

Western Oregon senior Justin Wakem was selected as the Baseball Player of the Week after he batted .526 in six games, going 10 for 19 with nine RBI, 10 runs, four doubles and a home run. His week was punctuated by a 5 for 6 day with five runs, five RBI, a double and a home run in Monday’s record-breaking 32-14 win over Central Washington.

Montana State Billings freshman Brooks Zimmer was named the Baseball Pitcher of the Week after he finished with three saves in the Yellowjackets’ series win over Central Washington. Zimmer allowed one hit and struck out four in two innings for the save in Saturday’s second game win. He also had saves in both of Sunday’s games, allowing one walk and striking out one in two innings in the opener and then allowed two walks and struck out one in the nightcap.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 29
BASEBALL PLAYER
Justin Wakem
(Western Oregon, C, 5-8, Sr., Beaverton, Ore. – Beaverton): Wakem paced the Wolves in a 5-1 week with a .526 batting average, going 10 for 19 with nine RBI and 10 runs. Wakem led WOU in its record-breaking 32-14 win over Central Washington on Monday by going 5 for 6 with five runs, five RBI, a double and a home run. He opened the four-game series sweep of Concordia by going 2 for 3 in Friday’s opener with an RBI double. He closed out the series with hits in each of Sunday’s games. Also Nominated: Jake Forrester (Central Washington), Andrew Schleusner (Montana State Billings), Austin Feist (Saint Martin’s).

BASEBALL PITCHER
Brooks Zimmer
(Montana State Billings, RHP, 6-6, Fr., Billings, Mont. – Billings Senior): Zimmer picked up three saves as the Yellowjackets secured a critical series win over Central Washington that allowed the Yellowjackets to keep pace with Western Oregon in the GNAC standings. Zimmer allowed just one hit and struck out four in two innings to win Saturday’s second game, 10-8. Zimmer earned saves in both of Sunday’s games, allowing a walk and striking out one in the ninth of the 5-3 victory in the opener and allowed two walks and struck out two in the 2-1 second game win. Also Nominated: Mitch Lesmeister (Central Washington), Aaron Shoup (Saint Martin’s), Austin Crowson (Western Oregon).

SOFTBALL PLAYER
Emily Benson
(Western Washington, 1B, 5-10, Sr., West Richland, Wash. – Kamiakin): Benson led the Vikings to a split of a pair of home doubleheaders by batting .583 in four games, going 7 for 12 with six runs, eight RBI and three home runs. Benson went 2 for 3 in Saturday’s second-game loss to Central Washington, which included a game-tying three-run homer in the third. She then went 3 for 3 in Sunday’s opening-game win over Saint Martin’s, including another two-run homer, and closed the weekend by going 1 for 1 with three walks in the nightcap. Her one hit was another two-run homer in the first inning. Also Nominated: Savannah Egbert (Central Washington), Linda Gherir (Concordia), Anna Williams (Northwest Nazarene), Sabrina Hicks (Saint Martin’s).

SOFTBALL PITCHER
Makinlee Sellevold
(Western Washington, P/IF, 5-4, Sr., Everett, Wash. – Cascade): Sellevold amassed a 2.21 earned run average in two starts for Western Washington, allowing six runs, four earned, on 15 hits with 10 strikeouts in 12.2 innings. Sellevold threw 7.2 innings in the Vikings’ eventual 8-6, 10-inning loss to Central Washington on Saturday, allowing five runs, three earned, on 11 hits with three walks and five strikeouts. She rebounded to earn the win in Sunday’s 9-1, five-inning win over Saint Martin’s as she allowed one run on four hits with five strikeouts. Also Nominated: Isabel Womack (Central Washington), Brandi Schoessler (Saint Martin’s), Reilly Tidwell (Western Oregon).

MEN’S TRACK
Dylan Hayes
(Western Washington, Sr., Seattle, Wash. – Garfield): Hayes was the top Division II finisher in the steeplechase at the L&C Spring Break Open. Hayes placed third in a time 9:25.37. The leading time in the GNAC so far this season, the performance also ranks ninth in Division II. Also Nominated: Judd Lewis (Concordia), Michael Russell (Saint Martin’s), Justin Crosswhite (Western Oregon).

MEN’S FIELD
Tyler Cronk
(Saint Martin’s, Fr., Kent, Wash. – Kentridge): Cronk went over seven feet in the high jump for the first time in his outdoor collegiate career, winning the high jump at the Doris Heritage Track Festival. His mark of 7 feet, 0.5 inches is an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships and is No. 2 on the GNAC All-Time List. He leads the nation and is a half-inch short of the GNAC record of 7 feet, 1 inch. Also Nominated: Easton Christensen (Concordia), Jake Knight (Northwest Nazarene), Cooper McNatt (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Savannah Smith
(Western Washington, Sr., Renton, Wash. – Renton): Smith won the 400 meters by over a second at the Doris Heritage Track Festival in Seattle. Her winning time of 56.96 seconds leads the GNAC and ranks ninth in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Dalen Richardson (Concordia), Artresa Nickelson (Saint Martin’s), Hailey Sears (Western Oregon).

WOMEN’S FIELD
Maddie Taylor
(Western Washington, Sr., Seattle, Wash. – Univ. of Montana): Taylor took over as the Division II national leader in the high jump with her victory at the Doris Heritage Track Festival. Taylor won by over three inches with a clearance of 5 feet, 8.5 inches, which is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier. The mark ties her for fifth on the GNAC All-Time List and leads Division II by an inch-and-a-half. Also Nominated: Katrina Linenko (Concordia), Liz Larson (Saint Martin’s).

MEN’S GOLF
Tyler Fitchett
(Saint Martin’s, So., Yakima, Wash. – Eisenhower): Fitchett earned medalist honors at the Notre Dame de Namur Invitational, carding a three-round score of 2-over-par 218. He carded a low round of 2-under-par 70 in the first round as he led the Saints to an eighth-place team finish.

Nick Sparling (Western Washington, Sr., Dublin, Ohio – Ohio State Univ.): Sparling tied for second place at the Notre Dame de Namur Argonaut Invitational, carding a score of 3-over-par 219 to lead Western Washington to the team title. He carded a low round of 2-under-par 70 in the second round as the Vikings won their fifth tournament out of seven total tournaments this season. Also Nominated: Spencer Rhodes (Concordia), Garrett Woodin (Montana State Billings).

WOMEN’S GOLF
Shealyn Hafer
(Montana State Billings, Sr., Butte, Mont. – Butte): Hafer tied for eighth place at the Winona State Invitational in Las Vegas, carding a two-round score of 170. Hafer shot one of the lowest scores of the tournament in Tuesday’s opening round, carding a 1-over-par 73, and then survived a second round that saw everyone’s scores inflated due to gusty winds.

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