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Drake, Ashcroft Nominated For NCAA Woman Of The Year
In addition to the NCAA Woman of the Year nomination, Bethany Drake (left) and Jamie Ashcroft were both named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.
In addition to the NCAA Woman of the Year nomination, Bethany Drake (left) and Jamie Ashcroft were both named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – Two of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s top track and field stars are the conference’s two nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Western Washington senior Bethany Drake and Alaska Anchorage senior Jamie Ashcroft were singled out among a record 543 individual nominations from institutions across all NCAA divisions. The two are also among 23 outdoor track and field athletes to be recognized.

Drake’s nomination was selected to be among 145 conference honorees to be forwarded for consideration for the next phase of the award. The top 30 finalists for the Woman of the Year award will be announced in September.

Drake finished her Western Washington career by capturing her second national championship in the javelin, with her winning throw of 170 feet beating the field by more than 12 feet. A three-time All-American, Drake also won her first GNAC championship in the event as she threw a meet record of 171 feet, 11.25 inches, at the conference meet in May. In addition to the NCAA honor, Drake was named the USTFCCCA Division Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, the GNAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Year.

Ashcroft persevered through injuries in the spring to finish her four-year career on a high note. During the indoor season, Ashcroft became just the second female athlete in conference history to win four consecutive event titles as she won the 60 meters in a time of 7.55 seconds. She also captured her third indoor crown in the 200 meters with a time of 24.09 seconds and went on to place seventh in the event at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Despite injuries that kept her from top shape during the outdoor season, Ashcroft was the GNAC runner-up in the 100 meters (12.16 seconds) and placed fourth at the conference meet in the 200 meters (24.96 seconds).

Both athletes were also selected in June as CoSIDA Division II Track and Field/Cross Country Academic All-Americans. Drake graduated in June with a 4.00 GPA in her Master in Teaching program after earning her undergraduate degree in art. Ashcroft graduated from Alaska Anchorage in May with a 3.85 GPA as a health science major.

The group of 145 conference nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year award includes 34 Division II athletes. Award nominees are selected based on the four pillars of the program as established by the NCAA: academics, athletics, service and leadership.

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