Roxby Notches 2 NCAA Top-10 Marks To Lead POTW Picks

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

PORTLAND, Ore. – Making the most of her time at the Bryan Clay Invitational over the weekend, Simon Fraser’s Megan Roxby ran a pair of top-10 national times to headline the latest list of Great Northwest Athletic Conference Players of the Week.

Roxby cruised to a time of 2:08.48 in the 800 meters, recording the fifth-fastest time among a consortium of 238 athletes who competed at the event. She followed that by placing fourth among a field of 190 competitors in the 1,500 meters, clocking in with a time of 4:23.23. She was the top NCAA Division II competitor in both races.


Women’s Track Athlete of the Week – Megan Roxby, Simon Fraser

First-career track athlete of the week.

Roxby’s 800 meters time was the fastest of any GNAC runner this spring, and it slated her fifth on the NCAA national performance list. Her 1,500 meters time was the ninth-fastest in GNAC outdoor history, and was the eighth-fastest by any Division II runner thus far during the 2024 outdoor season. Both times were collegiate personal bests for the North Vancouver, B.C., native.

“She is really coming into her own now, and has a vision to continue in the sport after she finishes her eligibility,” said SFU head coach Brit Townsend. “She has been really inspired for what is ahead for her, and she is ecstatic that it is finally coming along. She has really broken through mentally and I see good things in her future.”

Also Nominated: Blanca De Arvizu Sarrias, UAA; Zoe Gonzales, CWU; Cecily Eagleton, MSUB; Annika Esvelt, SPU; Caitlin Heldt, WOU; Caitlyn Cheney, WWU.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Week – Zuzanna Liniewski, Simon Fraser

First-career field athlete of the week.

Liniewski unleashed the conference’s top hammer throw this season, with a toss of 178’ 1” (54.27 meters) at the Cal State LA Twilight meet last week. That performance was good enough to slate the junior at No. 12 on the NCAA Division II performance list, and Liniewski placed sixth among 19 competitors at the event.

“That was a massive breakthrough for her,” said Townsend. “She has been knocking on the door of 50 (meters) for so long. To have a big throw like this come through was something that was unexpected for a lot of people, but expected by us. It was just a matter of when she could put it together mentally and physically.”

Also Nominated: Emy Ntekpere, CWU; Hannah Cooper, MSUB; Emily Powers, NNU; Ujunwa Nwokoma, WOU; Sydney Mohlman, WWU.


Men’s Track Athlete of the Week – Joshua Caleb, Alaska Anchorage

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

The reigning GNAC Indoor Track & Field Freshman of the Year cut loose in California last week, running the third-fastest 100 meters time in GNAC outdoor history at 10.34 seconds. That effort lifted Caleb’s name to the top of the GNAC performance list, and was the 12th-fastest time in Division II so far this season. Caleb also helped the UAA men run the 10th-fastest 4x100 meter relay time in GNAC history at 41.42 seconds, and he finished off his performance with a 400 meters time of 47.90 seconds.

Also Nominated: Josh Boast, CWU; Jaycee Herbert, MSUB; Jacob Hall, SFU; Keeton Sanchez, WOU; Ryan Clough, WWU.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Week – Wes Kriete, Central Washington

First-career field athlete of the week.

Kriete had a breakthrough performance in Portland last week, rising towards the top of the GNAC performance lists in both the shot put and discus. Kriete’s toss of 52’ 4.5” (15.96 meters) was the top shot put by a GNAC athlete this spring and stood as his collegiate best. He also recorded the conference’s third-best discus throw, with a distance of 148’ 1” (45.15 meters). Kriete placed second among a field of 41 competitors in the shot put and seventh among a field of 58 competitors in the discus.

“This rounds out what we try to be, and that is a complete team,” said CWU head coach Jonathan Hill. “From sprints to jumps to hurdles to throws, this is a representation of who we want to be. Wes’s energy in the ring was high, and I’m excited for him. It’s not easy to PR on top of a PR, and that’s what he was able to do in the shot put. In just his first year, it is exciting to see what he has learned and how he has grown. He looks like how you should in April.”

Also Nominated: Isaac Perkins, MSUB; Jarrett Chong, SFU; Troy Roberson, WWU.


Player of the Week – Ben Leid, Central Washington

First-career player of the week.

Leid led all GNAC players in both slugging percentage (1.077) and on-base percentage (.563) as he helped the Wildcats to a series split with Western Oregon. Leid drove in six runs while hitting a pair of homers, and finished the week with a batting average of .462. Leid had season-highs of four RBIs and two home runs in the third game of the series, while crossing the plate five times on the weekend. With CWU trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning of the series finale, Leid kick-started a three-run rally with an RBI-single that ultimately led to a 4-2 triumph to salvage the series split.

Also Nominated: Brock Molenda, MSUB; Duke Pahukoa, NNU; Austin Schaler, SMU; Curran Mitzel, WOU.

Pitcher of the Week – Beau Burnett, Montana State Billings

First-career pitcher of the week.

Burnett was instrumental in the Yellowjackets’ come-from-behind 7-6 win over Saint Martin’s in his outing last Saturday, as he tossed 5 1/3 innings of relief to finish the game on the mound. Burnett had five strikeouts against zero walks, allowing just four baserunners on the way to claiming his third victory of the season. Only one of the two runs that the right-hander allowed was earned, as he came in with his team down 4-3 and pitched well enough to help the ‘Jackets split the series with the Saints.

“Beau was tough as nails out of the ‘pen,” said MSUB head coach Derek Waddoups. “He really commanded the baseball, came in and essentially won a game for us. He was dominant and shut down an offense that had been hot against us up to that point in the weekend. What he was able to do helped us flip the momentum.”

Also Nominated: Daniel Charron, CWU; Colin Driscoll, SMU; Dylan Chalmers, WOU


Player of the Week – Hailey Rath, Western Washington

Second-career player of the week, second this season.

Rath had one of the best offensive weeks by any GNAC player thus far in 2024, leading the conference in nine major offensive categories. The Viking sophomore slashed .615/.667/.1.615, with a GNAC-leading three home runs, eight RBIs, four doubles, seven runs scored and eight hits. Rath racked up 21 total bases, helping the Vikings extend their school-record winning streak to 17 games with a 4-0 series sweep of Montana State Billings on the road. The shortstop was equally impressive defensively, committing just one error in 19 chances in the four-game series.

“She has been seeing the ball well all year, and she did again this weekend,” said WWU head coach Sheryl Gilmore. “She is a confident player, she puts the work in every day and it allows her to be so consistent. She doesn’t ride the highs or lows of at-bats, and that helps her find the success she has had.”

Also Nominated: Alyssa Benthagen, CWU; Marin Penney, MSUB; Abigail Gagnon, NNU; Ashley Goodale, SMU; Maddie Doig, WOU.

Pitcher of the Week – Sidney Booth, Northwest Nazarene

Eleventh-career pitcher of the week, third this season.

Booth impacted all three of the Nighthawks’ victories last week, as she helped her team to a 3-1 series victory over Saint Martin’s on the road. The senior led all GNAC pitchers with 16 strikeouts and 14 2/3 innings pitched, earning a pair of wins and a save. Booth surrendered just one earned run for an ERA of 0.48, and limited the opposition to a batting average of .176. Booth passed Seattle University’s Erin Martin for the most-ever GNAC Pitcher of the Week awards, picking up the 11th of her career and her third of the season. Only Sam Munger of Saint Martin’s, who had seven pitcher of the week and eight player of the week honors, earned more with 15 total from 2011-14.

“Every conference week is really tough, especially since she has been in the conference for so long,” NNU head coach Rich Wagner said of the fifth-year senior. “There are hitters who have 30-plus at-bats off her. She did a great job of pitching, and not just throwing to spots, and did a great job of thinking through batters. It has been one of her more challenging years in terms of players having lots of good at-bats against her. Saint Martin’s comes up with a really good game plan every time we play them, and Sidney did a great job of staying consistent. She is an incredible competitor.”

Also Nominated: Zoey Theophilus, CWU; Mackenzee Collins, WOU; Alli Kimball, WWU.


Player of the Week – Kassie Muanyam, Simon Fraser

Second-career player of the week, first this season.

Muanyam won the Sonoma State Invitational, topping a field of 48 competitors to claim her second-career GNAC weekly award. The junior shot a two-round score of 7-over-par 151 (74-77) for her best finish of the 2023-24 campaign. Muanyam’s 74 was one stroke off her top single-round score of the season, and she lowered her scoring average to 76.2 strokes per round which is tied for third in the GNAC.

“This is a huge milestone for Kassie and something for which the entire SFU program is extremely proud,” said SFU head coach Matthew Steinbach. “Kassie’s resilience over her SFU career largely goes unnoticed and I am very happy she was rewarded with a tournament win in her final regular-season event. Kassie has been instrumental in our team’s success over the last two events both with her scores on the course and her leadership off the course.”

Also Nominated: Meilyn Armstrong, MSUB; Madison Gridley, NNU; Ashley Bruland, SMU; Emma Worgum, WWU.


Player of the Week – Max Turnquist, Saint Martin’s

Fourth-career player of the week, second this season.

Turnquist was the conference’s top finisher at the RJGA Palm Valley Classic last week, taking 18th place with a three-round score of 4-under-par 212 (71-71-70). Turnquist stayed consistent throughout the event, saving his top round for last with a 2-under-par 70 his final time through the course. Turnquist lowered his season scoring average to 73.4 strokes per round, which ranks him fifth in the GNAC.

“I’m really proud of Max for this honor, especially heading right into the conference tournament,” said SMU head coach Anne Bahr. “He played very steady through all three rounds, and I enjoyed getting to coach him. I was impressed with his finish in Round 3, keeping the pedal down and staying consistent and aggressive.”

Also Nominated: Paul O’Neil, MSUB; Lane Strand, NNU; Peter Dionne-Yahr, WWU.


Crew of the Week – University of Central Oklahoma Varsity 4+

The UCO Varsity 4+ boat raced to a first-place finish at the prestigious Knecht Cup Regatta in New Jersey last weekend. The Bronchos edged out Embry-Riddle by one second, and picked up a big win over GNAC rival, Seattle Pacific. Central also beat Barry and Mercyhust in the race. The top-ranked Bronchos won both the V4+ and V8+ titles in New Jersey this weekend.

Lineup: Sydney Large (coxswain), Carlota Martinez, Hope Brooks, Sawyer Schreiner, Keyna Swoosh