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Ribich, Drake Named USTFCCCA Scholar-Athletes Of Year
David Ribich (left) was named the USTFCCCA Men's Outdoor Track Scholar-Athlete of the Year while Bethany Drake was tabbed the Women's Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Photos by Paul Merca.
David Ribich (left) was named the USTFCCCA Men's Outdoor Track Scholar-Athlete of the Year while Bethany Drake was tabbed the Women's Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Photos by Paul Merca.

Friday, July 28, 2017

NEW ORLEANS – Two months removed from a pair of national championship performances, Western Oregon’s David Ribich and Western Washington’s Bethany Drake are among seven Division II Scholar-Athlete of the Year honorees as selected by the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association.

Ribich was named by the organization as its 2017 Division II Men’s Outdoor Track Scholar-Athlete of the Year after winning the national title in the 1,500 meters. He joins Alaska Anchorage’s Cody Thomas (2016) as the only two GNAC men’s student-athletes to be receive the top scholar-athlete award.

Drake was named the 2017 Division II Women’s Outdoor Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year after closing her career with a second national championship in the women’s javelin. It is the second time that Drake has been selected for the award (she won in 2014) and marks the seventh time that a GNAC female student-athlete has netted one fo the top scholar-athlete honors.

The two are among 67 GNAC student-athletes (21 men and 46 women) to earn All-Academic honors by the USTFCCCA. To qualify, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have reached a provisional or automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships in either the indoor or outdoor seasons.

In addition to the individual honors, five GNAC programs had both their men’s and women’s teams recognized as USTFCCCA All-Academic Teams, recognizing member programs with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. Those programs are Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington, Northwest Nazarene, Seattle Pacific and Western Oregon.

Named as the GNAC’s Male Athlete of the Year in May, Ribich earned a 3.41 GPA as he finished his junior year as a communications major. Ribich finished the year with the nation’s best time outdoors in the 1,500 meters and won the national title with a time of 3:49.64. Also selected as the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Co-Male Athlete of the Year, Ribich went on qualify for and finish ninth in the 1,500 meters at the USA Track & Field National Championships in June.

During the indoor season, Ribich finished third at the Division II Championships in the mile and ran an anchor leg that helped give the Wolves the national title in the men’s distance medley relay.

Drake, who was selected in May as the GNAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, claimed her second national title in the javelin while finishing her Master in Teaching degree. Drake closed her collegiate career by winning her first GNAC title in the event with a meet record of 171 feet, 11.25 inches. At the national meet, Drake won by over 12 feet with a top throw of 170 feet. The GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Year, Drake was also named as a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American and went on to compete at the USA Track & Field National Championships, placing ninth.

Alaska Anchorage had 22 athletes named as USTFCCCA All-Academic performers, nine men and 13 women, to lead all GNAC programs.

GNAC 2017 USTFCCCA ALL-ACADEMIC SELECTIONS 
MEN    
Name Year School
Kaleb Korta Freshman Alaska Anchorage
Adam Commandeur Senior Alaska Anchorage
Edwin Kangogo Junior Alaska Anchorage
Liam Lindsay Junior Alaska Anchorage
Michael Mendenhall Senior Alaska Anchorage
Jesse Miller Senior Alaska Anchorage
David Sramek Freshman Alaska Anchorage
Christoph Sander Freshman Alaska Anchorage
Nicholas Taylor Sophomore Alaska Anchorage
Kodiak Landis Junior Central Washington
Philip Gwin Sophomore Northwest Nazarene
Jared Webster Junior Northwest Nazarene
Vincent Fualefau Senior Saint Martin’s
Mitch Wilkens Senior Saint Martin’s
Dustin Nading Sophomore Western Oregon
David Ribich Junior Western Oregon
AJ Holmberg Junior Western Oregon
Gordie Kordas Senior Western Washington
Andrew Wise Senior Western Washington
Costel David Sophomore Western Washington
Alexander Barry Sophomore Western Washington
     
WOMEN    
Name Year School
Karolin Anders Senior Alaska Anchorage
Vanessa Aniteye Freshman Alaska Anchorage
Jamie Ashcroft Senior Alaska Anchorage
Hayley Bezanson Senior Alaska Anchorage
Alexia Blalock Senior Alaska Anchorage
Mariah Burroughs Junior Alaska Anchorage
Mary Kathleen Cross Senior Alaska Anchorage
Zennah Jepchumba Sophomore Alaska Anchorage
Yvonne Jeschke Sophomore Alaska Anchorage
Caroline Kurgat Junior Alaska Anchorage
Danielle McCormick Sophomore Alaska Anchorage
Tamara Perez Junior Alaska Anchorage
Marie Ries Freshman Alaska Anchorage
Ali Anderson Junior Central Washington
Emily Bland Junior Central Washington
McKenna Emmert Senior Central Washington
Madison Garcia Senior Central Washington
Aiyana Homer Junior Central Washington
Stephanie Rexus Senior Central Washington
Alexa Shindruk Sophomore Central Washington
Mariyah Vongsaveng Sophomore Central Washington
Ellie Logan Sophomore Northwest Nazarene
Nicole Nobbs Sophomore Northwest Nazarene
Elise Snowden Freshman Northwest Nazarene
Kirby Neale Senior Saint Martin’s
Claire Palmiter Junior Saint Martin’s
Kyra Brannan Senior Seattle Pacific
Scout Cai Freshman Seattle Pacific
Mary Charleson Junior Seattle Pacific
Cheryl Hong Senior Seattle Pacific
Geneva Lehnert Sophomore Seattle Pacific
Kate Lilly Freshman Seattle Pacific
Sarah Macdonald Senior Seattle Pacific
Sammi Markham Senior Seattle Pacific
Chynna Phan Junior Seattle Pacific
Nicole Maurmann Junior Western Oregon
Megan Rose Junior Western Oregon
Kennedy Rufener Junior Western Oregon
Amanda Short Junior Western Oregon
Suzie Van De Grift Junior Western Oregon
Olivia Woods Sophomore Western Oregon
Bethany Drake Senior Western Washington
Brittany Grant Senior Western Washington
Jasmine McMullin Senior Western Washington
Miranda Osadchey Senior Western Washington
Anna Paradee Junior Western Washington
     
GNAC 2017 USTFCCCA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS  
Men: Alaska Anchorage (3.13), Central Washington (3.034), Northwest Nazarene (3.18), Seattle Pacific (3.315), Western Oregon (3.13).
Women: Alaska Anchorage (3.54), Central Washington (3.355), Northwest Nazarene (3.52), Seattle Pacific (3.403), Western Oregon (3.41).
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