Ashcroft, Drake Named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
Jamie Ashcroft (left) finished as a four-time GNAC champion in the indoor 60 meters while Drake finished as a three-time All-American in the javelin.
Jamie Ashcroft (left) finished as a four-time GNAC champion in the indoor 60 meters while Drake finished as a three-time All-American in the javelin.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas – Two of the top female performers in GNAC track and field history are being recognized as among the top in the nation in terms of both on-field and academic performance with selection to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division II Academic All-America Track and Field/Cross Country Team.

Alaska Anchorage senior Jamie Ashcroft and Western Washington senior Bethany Drake were both named to the Academic All-America first team and were the only GNAC representatives on the men’s or women’s teams. Both were among seven GNAC athletes named earlier in June to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 Team.

Ashcroft finished her career as a four-time GNAC champion indoors in the 60 meters and a three-time champion outdoors in the 100 meters and 200 meters. She graduated in May with a 3.85 grade point average as a health science major.

The Shawnigan Lake, B.C., product became just the second female athlete in GNAC history to become a four-time champion indoors, winning with a time of 7.55 seconds. She also captured her third indoor title in the 200 meters with a time of 24.09 seconds. Ashcroft qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 200 meters, placing seventh in 24.13 to earn All-American honors.

Injuries kept Ashcroft from performing at her best during the outdoor season, but she still proved to be a competitive force. She finished second at the GNAC Outdoor Championships with a time of 12.16 seconds, just behind Simon Fraser athlete Katherine Lucas’ time of 12.13 seconds, and placed fourth in the 200 with a time of 24.96 seconds. Ashcroft’s season bests of 11.89 seconds in the 100 meters and 24.42 seconds in the 200 meters were NCAA Outdoor Championships provisional qualifiers.

Drake was named earlier this week as the GNAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year after winning the Division II national championship in the women’s javelin while maintaining a perfect 4.00 GPA in her Master of Teaching program.

The Sandy, Oregon native collected her second national championship and her third All-American trophy in javelin with a winning mark of 170 feet, a performance that was over 12 feet better than the national runner-up. She won her first GNAC outdoor championship in the event in May with a meet record of 171 feet, 11.25 inches, against a field that included seven athletes that advanced to the national meet. The performance was second best mark of the season in Division II.

Drake was named by conference coaches as the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year. She earned her undergraduate degree last June and had a 3.87 GPA as an art major.