Mikel Smith, Nine Others Earn Athlete of Week Honors
Mikel Smith of Saint Martin's broke the GNAC high jump record Saturday.
Mikel Smith of Saint Martin's broke the GNAC high jump record Saturday.

Monday, April 27, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – A  conference record high jump has earned Mikel Smith of Saint Martin’s Men’s GNAC Field Athlete of the Week honors.

Smith who set the GNAC indoor record of 7-0 ½ this past winter added the outdoor record to his resume in winning the event with a leap of 6-10 ¾ Saturday at the Western Washington Ralph Vernacchia Invitational.

Smith is one of 10 athletes to earn GNAC Athlete/Player of the Week honors.

Following is a recap of the winners and a listing of honorable mention selections:

Men’s Track and FieldTrack - Zack Holloway, Western Oregon (Jr., Brownsville, OR – Central Linn) was the top collegian and placed second overall in the steeplechase with a provisional national qualifying time of 9:16.39 at the Western Washington Ralph Vernacchia Invitational.  Field – Mikel Smith, Saint Martin’s (Jr., Muskogee, OK) broke the GNAC record in winning the high jump at the Vernacchia with a leap of 6-10 ¾.  That mark ranks 11th this spring in NCAA Division II.

Honorable Mention – Kevin Stanley, Central Washington (Sr., Spokane, WA – Central Valley); Nate Vanderby, MSU Billings (So., Manhattan, MT); Kyle McLaughlin, Northwest Nazarene (Jr., Meridian, ID); John VanBeuren, Northwest Nazarene (So., Boise, ID – Centennial); Frank Krause, Saint Martin’s (Sr., Onalaska, WA); Kenny Klippel, Western Oregon (Fr., Scappoose, OR).

Women’s Track and Field:  Track – Becca Houk, Seattle Pacific (Fr., Oregon City, OR) ran the fifth fastest 100 meter time in GNAC history placing 10th in the UC San Diego Triton Invitational in a time of 12.05.  She was fourth among collegians, finishing in back of three San Diego State athletes.  She also led the Falcons to a fourth place finish in the 4x100 relay in a time of 47.31.  Finishing ahead of SPU were teams from Brazil, University of Minnesota and University of New Mexico.  Field – McKenna Emmert, Central Washington (So., Kelso, WA) pole vaulted 12-6 ¾, which is the second best vault in GNAC history.  It also ranks 10th this spring in NCAA Division II.

Honorable Mention – Amanda Nichols, MSU Billings (Fr., Billings, MT – Bella Vista); Hope Reid, MSU Billings (So., Thompson Falls, MT); Caitlin Curtis, Northwest Nazarene (Sr., Portland, OR – David Douglas); Susanna Fleming, Northwest Nazarene (Sr., Boise, ID – Treasure Valley); Kirby Neale, Saint Martin’s (Jr., Coos Bay, OR – Marshfield); Shannon Porter, Saint Martin’s (Jr., Vancouver, WA – Hockinson); Emmi Collier, Western Oregon  (Jr., Warrenton, OR); Katelyn Steen, Western Washington (Sr., Sammamish, WA – Eastlake).

Softball: Player – Autumn Isaacson, Western Washington (OF, 5-5, Sr., Lake Stevens, WA – Bellevue CC) and Bella Rovens, MSU Billings (OF, 5-7, So., Sparks, NV – Spanish Springs) …  Isaacson stole six bases to increase her season total to 30, one shy of her own GNAC record she set last season.  She had five hits in 11 at bats in doubleheader sweeps of Central Washington and Simon Fraser and also scored seven runs.  Rovens, MSUB’s lead-off hitter, had six hits in seven at bats as the Yellowjackets split two games to earn the No. 3 seed in this week's conference playoffs.  Among her six hits were a pair of doubles. On the season, Rovens leads the GNAC in on-base percentage (.488) and ranks fourth in batting (.393), runs scored (44) and stolen bases (12).  Pitching – Makinlee Sellevold,  Western Washington (P, 5-4, Fr., Everett, WA - Cascade) won four games to finish the regular-season with a league-best 23 victories.  She allowed just two runs and 15 hits in 19 innings.

Honorable Mention – Celine Fowler, Central Washington (OF, 5-3, Fr., North Bend, WA – Mt. Si); Jessyka MacDonald, MSU Billings (P, 5-8, Sr., Billings, MT); Ali Schauer, Northwest Nazarene (OF, 5-7, Jr., Leavenworth, WA – Cascade);  Taviah Jenkins, Saint Martin’s (OF, 5-8, Sr., Castle Rock, WA); Sam Munger, Saint Martin’’s (P, 5-6, Sr., Everett, WA): Alyson Boytz, Western Oregon (P, 5-9, Jr., Noti, OR – Elmira); Zoe Clark, Western Oregon (OF, 5-7, Fr., Hayden, ID – Coeur d’Alene).

Baseball: Player – Trevor Nix, Montana State Billings (C, 5-11, Sr., Tigard, OR) went 7-for-11 from the batter’s box as the Yellowjackets won three of four games with Northwest Nazarene to move into a tie for first place in the GNAC with idle Western Oregon. Nix drove in eight runs and scored five.  In Saturday’s 16-0 win, Nix went 5-for-6 at the plate while driving in six runs and scoring two. He also homered in the game and finished a triple away from the cycle. The senior also hit two doubles on the weekend to finish with a four-game slugging percentage of 1.091.  Pitcher – Tanner Johnson, Montana State Billings (RHP, 6-3, Jr., Belgrade, MT) and Zach Johnson, Central Washington (LHP, 6-0, Jr., Kirkland, WA) both pitched nine-inning complete-game shutouts.  Tanner Johnson  allowed three hits and fanned 10 batters.   Zach Johnson also gave up three hits retiring 21 of the first 22 batters he faced. Both Johnson’s threw their respective school’s first nine-inning shutout this season. MSUB’s was also the first nine-inning shutout since 2011.

Honorable Mention – Kasey Bielec, Central Washington (INF, 5-11, Sr., Port Orchard, WA); Ross Clevenger, Northwest Nazarene (RHP, 6-0, Fr., Eagle, ID); Kyle Thomson, Northwest Nazarene (OF, 5-7, Sr., Enumclaw, WA); Torin Dooley, Saint Martin’s (RHP, 6-1, Jr., Edmonds, WA); Zach Raczok, Saint Martin’s (C, 5-11, R-So., Claremont, CA).