Rodriguez Races Into Top-10 In 800M

Monday, May 6, 2024
by Evan O'Kelly, Assistant Commissioner For Communications

PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Oregon standout freshman Isaiah Rodriguez clocked a top-10 NCAA Division II 800 meters time at the Portland Twilight over the weekend, leading the final GNAC Players of the Week list of the 2023-24 academic year.

Rodriguez checked in at 1:49.66, marking the 10th-fastest time in Division II this spring and the eighth-fastest in GNAC history.


Player of the Week – Adam Paganelli, Northwest Nazarene

First-career player of the week.

Paganelli slugged his way to his first player of the week award, hitting three home runs and driving in eight to help the Nighthawks clinch the regular-season championship with a 3-1 series win over Central Washington. Paganelli had four RBIs in the first and third games of the series, including a two-homer game in NNU’s 8-1 victory on Saturday.

Also Nominated: Andrew Sharp, CWU; Bodee Wright, MSUB; Curran Mitzel, WOU.

Pitcher of the Week – Kyle Ethridge, Northwest Nazarene

Sixth-career pitcher of the week, second this season.

Ethridge helped the Nighthawks secure the 2024 regular-season title with his effort in the team’s 13-1 triumph over Central Washington last week. The senior left-hander allowed just three baserunners across seven innings of work, striking out four, walking none and surrendering just one run. Ethridge displayed ultimate efficiency, needing just 68 pitches to get through the seven frames and secure his fifth win of the year.

Also Nominated: Beau Kearsey, CWU; Sage Wayment, MSUB; Devin Bell, WOU.


Men’s Track Athlete of the Week – Isaiah Rodriguez, Western Oregon

First-career track athlete of the week.

Rodriguez ran the eighth-fastest 800 meters time in GNAC history, cruising to a provisional qualifying time of 1:49.66 at the Oregon Twilight. It was the conference’s fastest time this season and ranks Rodriguez No. 10 on the Division II national performance list. The freshman was the top-finishing Division II runner.

Also Nominated: Joshua Caleb, UAA; Josh Boast, CWU; Jaycee Herbert, MSUB; Andrew Thomson, SFU; Drew Weber, WWU.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Week – Liam Wall, Western Washington

First-career field athlete of the week.

Wall placed fourth at the Oregon Twilight in the discus, delivering a throw of 142’ 0” (43.29 meters) over the weekend. He was just off his season best of 159’ 0”, which ranks him second in the conference in the event. Wall was the top Division II performer among a field of 12 competitors at the event.

Also Nominated: Isaiah Webster, CWU; Cole Bentley, MSUB.

Women’s Track Athlete of the Week – Sophie Wright, Western Washington

First-career track athlete of the week.

Wright kicked it into high gear at the Portland Twilight, hitting a PR in the 800 meters with a time of 2:11.56. She was the top-finishing Division II runner and placed 15th overall among a field of 46 competitors. Wright’s time was the third fastest in the GNAC this spring, and got her onto the provisional qualifying list at No. 51 nationally.

Also Nominated: E’lexis Hollis, CWU; Carey Berendsen, MSUB; Megan Roxby, SFU.

Women’s Field Athlete of the Week – Katie Potts, Western Washington

Seventh-career field athlete of the week, sixth this season.

Potts put on a show again, this time at the Oregon Twilight as she finished second in the shot put among 12 competitors and third in the discus among 12 competitors. Potts was the top Division II thrower in each event, posting a shot put of 42’ 1.25” (12.83 meters) and a discus throw of 146’ 8” (44.70 meters).

Also Nominated: Brianna Linday, MSUB.


Crew of the Week – Western Washington Varsity 8+

Ranked No. 1 nationally, the Vikings claimed another victory in the V8+ category this time at the Windermere Cup in Seattle. WWU cruised to a time of 7:03.722, besting second-place Gonzaga, third-place Washington and fourth-place Seattle Pacific in the race.

Coxswain – Janisa Cook
Stroke – Mia Marie Knipe
7 – Emma Clark
6 – Madeline Kidd
5 – Saraph Plemons
4 – Taylor Wall
3 – Jenna Buckholt
2 – Sarah Ernst
Bow – Reed Chesnek

Also Nominated: Seattle Pacific Open 8+