Athlete Of The Week McGough Breaks GNAC PV Record
Lauryn McGough cleared a mark of 13' 3.5
Lauryn McGough cleared a mark of 13' 3.5" to break the GNAC pole vault record.

Monday, January 15, 2024
by Evan O'Kelly, Assistant Commissioner For Communications

PORTLAND, Ore. – Central Washington freshman Lauryn McGough wasn’t fooling around on Friday afternoon at The Podium.

On her third attempt in her second-ever collegiate track meet, the Raymond, Wash., native cleared a height of 13’ 3.5” (14.05 meters) to shatter the school record and break the GNAC overall record in the pole vault. McGough vaulted up to No. 5 on the NCAA Division II performance list with the feat, topping fellow Wildcat Halle Irvine’s 2018 GNAC record mark of 12’ 10.75” (3.93 meters).

“We teach our kids not to be surprised when good things happen,” said CWU head coach Jonathan Hill. “We work for breakthroughs like this and expect them. We are so focused on the process, and we feel like we are in a good place. She is working the process, and I’m so proud of her for staying in the moment jump-by-jump and day-by-day. She is so engaged and is in the driver’s seat.”


Athlete of the Week – Lauryn McGough, Central Washington

First-career field athlete of the week.

McGough’s effort wasn’t just a GNAC indoor record, as she topped the overall record of 13’ 3” (4.04 meters) set by Seattle Pacific’s Scout Cai during the 2021 outdoor season. McGough hinted she was on track to hit a provisional national qualifying mark in her debut collegiate meet on Dec. 9, when she cleared a height of 12’ 3.5” (3.75 meters) at the Spokane Invitational. Just over one month later she all but locked up a spot to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships with last week’s record-breaking effort.

Also Nominated: Hannah Cooper, MSUB; Kerlinda Chatwin, SFU; Katie Potts, WWU.


Athlete of the Week – Marie-Eloise Leclair, Simon Fraser

Seventh-career track athlete of the week, first this season.

In her debut performance of the 2023-24 season, Leclair sprinted her way to a tie for the second-fastest 60-meters time in Division II thus far at 7.38 seconds. That matched the mark that CWU’s E’lexis Hollis set on Dec. 9 at the Spokane Invitational, and was just 0.05 seconds off Leclair’s GNAC indoor record of 7.33 seconds which she set in 2022. Comfortably advancing to the finals of the event at the UW Indoor Preview on Saturday, Leclair ran neck-and-neck with a bevy of Division I runners finishing second only to Oregon’s Jadyn Mays (7.24). Leclair’s seven-career GNAC track athlete of the week awards are tied for seventh-most in conference history.

“That is a better opener than she had last year at this time, and we are super happy with that,” said SFU head coach Brit Townsend. “She is always so poised, and is very confident before she gets on the line. She is positive and very driven. She is happy with the time, and it’s a really good start to the season. She will really be able to step it up in Boston this week.”

Also Nominated: E’lexis Hollis, CWU; Annika Esvelt, SPU; Ila Davis, WWU.


Player of the Week – Daniel Moody, Montana State Billings

First-career player of the week.

Moody made history on the way to leading the Yellowjackets to two more conference victories, as MSUB remained atop the GNAC standings with a league record of 6-0. In MSUB’s 97-84 triumph over Western Washington last Thursday, Moody completed just the eighth triple-double in GNAC history with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was the seventh triple-double by a Division II player and the second by a GNAC player this season, as Moody joined WOU’s Qiant Myers who achieved the feat on Nov. 14, 2023. Moody followed with a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double in the Yellowjackets’ 73-61 win over Simon Fraser to complete the weekend sweep at home. On the weekend, Moody averaged 18.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and led all GNAC players with 14 assists for an average of 7.5 per game while committing just four turnovers.

“I am extremely proud of his performance over the week,” said MSUB head coach Luke Fennelly. “He puts the work in and he is very deserving of a triple-double. We didn’t realize it until we got the stat sheet, but that is just how consistent he is. That is an extraordinary stat line, and it is a testament to him and the work he puts in. He finds his teammates which is most important, and he overall had a great week.”

Also Nominated: Dillon Barrientos, UAA; Abdullahi Mohamed, UAF; Anjaylo Lloyd, CWU; Ryzin Bergersen, NNU; Myles Samuels, SMU; Trace Evans, SPU; Zach Stone, SFU.


Player of the Week – Riley Dykstra, Western Washington

Dykstra was paramount in leading the Vikings to a pair of convincing victories over the weekend, as WWU topped Central Washington 100-75 on Thursday before beating Northwest Nazarene 88-60 on Saturday. Dykstra started her week with 15 points, six assists and three rebounds in the win over the Wildcats, going 5-for-6 from 3 point range in just 23 minutes on the floor. She followed with a season-high 23 points on 10-for-13 shooting against the Nighthawks while adding four more assists and four more rebounds. Across the two games, Dykstra averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and shot 71.4 percent (15-for-21) including 70.0 percent (7-for-10) from beyond the arc.

“She has had a lot of confidence these last three games,” WWU head coach Carmen Dolfo said, referring to Dykstra’s scoring average of 19.3 dating back to Jan. 6. “After our tough loss at Anchorage she turned a corner and has stepped up. She has shot the ball so well, and one of her greatest attributes is her passing. It’s great to see her playing with confidence and believing in herself. She has been such a game-changer for us in the last two games with how she’s played.”

Also Nominated: Senya Rabouin, UAA; Emma Wass, UAF; Asher Cai, CWU; Aspen Giese, MSUB; Madeline Gebers, NNU; Shalyse Smith, SMU; Olivia Mayer, SPU; Jessica Wisotzki, SFU.


Athlete of the Week – Kevin McDermott, Western Washington

Second-career track athlete of the week, first this season.

The 2023 GNAC Cross Country champion blazed his way to a provisional national qualifying mark in his indoor track debut, clocking a time of 8:10.96 in the 3,000 meters at the UW Indoor Preview. McDermott was the top-finishing Division II athlete in the event, and his mark stands as the seventh-fastest nationally thus far in 2023-24. The senior also broke into the GNAC indoor top-10 list with his latest performance, which was the eighth-fastest in conference history.

“His story is great – he has worked his tail off to get where he’s at,” said WWU head coach Ben Stensland. “I’m excited about what’s to come for him. He got the feel for it and set the pace well in this race, and that is an indicator of him being really fit. I’m excited about his next opportunity. T.J. Garlatz is doing an amazing job with our whole distance crew. They’re really clicking and I’m excited to see what they’re able to accomplish this season.”

Also Nominated: Kevin Angarita, UAA; Johan Correa, CWU; Jaycee Herbert, MSUB; Colton Plummer, SFU.


Athlete of the Week – Drew Klein, Central Washington

First-career field athlete of the week.

Klein turned in the conference’s best pole vault mark of the 2023-24 campaign, clearing a height of 15’ 7” (4.75 meters) at the Spokane Indoor Challenge on Friday. Klein’s PR effort slotted him just 0.25” shy of a provisional national qualifying mark. The junior from Auburn, Wash., also had success on the track last week, finishing second in the 60-meter hurdles with a PR time of 8.29 seconds.

“I’m excited for Drew to open up with this type of performance,” said Hill. “He’s been dialed in on a new series of poles, taking calculated chances and taking it one jump at a time. He is becoming a really advanced student of the sport, and his knowledge gives him confidence. He works really hard, and is always trying to find the one percent difference in every aspect of his life. He has really grown in the last five months into a more complete person, and I’m really proud of his development.”

Also Nominated: Cole Bentley, MSUB; Mason Hrcek, SPU; Mitchell Gibbs, SFU; Ryan Greenwalt, WWU.