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Record Track Performances Lead GNAC Weekly Honor Roll
MacDonald (left) tied the GNAC record in the women's weight throw while Nading surpassed the Western Oregon school record in the 3,000 meters. Photo Credits: Left - Chris Oertell, Right - Loren Orr.
MacDonald (left) tied the GNAC record in the women's weight throw while Nading surpassed the Western Oregon school record in the 3,000 meters. Photo Credits: Left - Chris Oertell, Right - Loren Orr.

Monday, January 15, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – A record-setting first week of the indoor track and field season for Concordia thrower Christina MacDonald and Western Oregon distance standout Dustin Nading leads this week’s honorees for GNAC Athletes of the Week.

MacDonald was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week after she tied the GNAC record in the weight throw at the season-opening UW Preview. The senior finished third in the event with a mark of 58 feet, 2.5 inches, matching the mark set by Western Oregon’s Kristin Hepler in 2004. The mark is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier and is the 11th best mark in Division II this season, In addition, MacDonald placed sixth in the shot put with a mark of 46 feet, 9.5 inches, also an NCAA provisional qualifier.

Nading earned Men’s Track Athlete of the Week honors after he set the Western Oregon record in the 3,000 meters at the UW Preview. The junior’s sixth-place time of 8:11.67 bettered the previous record of 8:13.94 set by teammate David Ribich last year. The mark, an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, is sixth best in Division II this season and is fourth on the GNAC all-time list.

Alaska Anchorage sophomore Chris Brake was selected as the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after he placed third in the high jump at the UW Preview. His clearance of 6 feet, 8.75 inches, is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark, ties him for 16th in Division II this season and ties him for eighth on the GNAC all-time list. Brake also competed in the triple jump, placing sixth with a mark of 45 feet, 5.25 inches.

Simon Fraser senior Julia Howley started the indoor season off on the right foot. Her 12th place time of 9:32.78 in the 3,000 meters at the Husky Preview is the fastest time in Division II this season. An NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, the time also moves Howley into No. 6 on the GNAC all-time list.

Both of this week’s basketball honorees are repeat selections. Western Washington guard Trey Drechsel earned his second Men’s Basketball Player of the Week performance for his all-around play in Vikings’ wins over Simon Fraser and Montana State Billings. Drechsel averaged 15 points, 10.5 rebounds, five assists and three steals per game in the contests, topped by a 26-point performance in Saturday’s 100-91 win over the Yellowjackets.

Montana State Billings forward Alisha Breen was tabbed for her third Women’s Basketball Player of the Week selection of the season after she had double-doubles in both of the Yellowjackets’ contests. She finished with 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds on Thursday against Northwest Nazarene and then scored 20 points to go along with 13 rebounds against Central Washington on Saturday. Breen averaged 18 points and 15.5 rebounds per game and moved up to No. 2 on the GNAC all-time list for free throws made and No. 10 on the scoring list.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 20
MEN’S BASKETBALL
Trey Drechsel
(Western Washington, G, 6-6, Jr., Woodinville, Wash. – Cedar Park Christian): Drechsel did all for the Vikings last week, averaging 15 points, 10.5 rebounds, five assists and three steals per game in two wins while shooting 50 percent from the field and going a perfect 9 for 9 from the free throw line. Drechsel was a defensive force in Tuesday’s 69-54 win at Simon Fraser, coming up with 13 rebounds with six assists. He then performed big offensively in Saturday’s 100-91 win at Montana State Billings, finishing with 26 points on 8 of 11 from the field to go with eight rebounds, four assists and five steals. Also Nominated: Alex Baham (Alaska), Jarrett Gray (Concordia), Zharon Richmond (Montana State Billings), BJ Standley (Saint Martin’s), Kedar Salam (Simon Fraser), Tanner Omlid (Western Oregon).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Alisha Breen
(Montana State Billings, F, 5-10, Sr., Choteau, Mont. – Choteau): Breen posted a double-double in both games for the Yellowjackets last week, averaging 18 points and 15.5 rebounds per game in the contests. In Thursday’s loss to Northwest Nazarene, Breen finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds, connecting on 6 of 8 from the free throw line. She then finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday’s 86-84 win over Central Washington, which included a 10 of 11 performance from the free throw line. The foul shooting performance moved Breen into No. 2 on the GNAC all-time list for free throws made while also moving up to No. 10 on the GNAC all-time scoring list. Also Nominated: Bailey Cartwright (Concordia), Saniah Simpson-Patu (Saint Martin’s), Jordan McPhee (Seattle Pacific), Savannah Heugly (Western Oregon), Dani Iwami (Western Washington).

MEN’S TRACK
Dustin Nading
(Western Oregon, Jr., Longview, Wash. – Colby Univ.) At the UW Preview, Nading placed ninth in the 3,000 meters in a school record time of 8:11.67. The performance broke David Ribich’s former record of 8:13.94 and moves him up to No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List. The time is also an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier and is the sixth fastest time in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Noah Wallace (Concordia), Sam Zook (Montana State Billings), Jackson Hand (Saint Martin’s), Cordell Cummings (Western Washington).

MEN’S FIELD
Chris Brake
(Alaska Anchorage, So., Nelson, New Zealand – Tapawera Area School) In a field dominated by Division I competition, Brake placed third in the high jump at the UW Preview with a clearance of 6 feet, 8.75 inches. The mark is tied for ninth on the GNAC All-Time List, is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier and is tied for 16th best in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Josh Koch (Concordia), Nels Flanagan (Montana State Billings), Josh Schulz (Saint Martin’s), Peter Behncke (Simon Fraser), Alani Troutman (Western Oregon), Ben Malquist (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Julia Howley
(Simon Fraser, Sr., St. Johns, N.L. – Holy Heart of Mary) Howley placed 12th in the elite heat of the 3,000 meters at the UW Preview with a personal best time of 9:32.78. The time is the best in Division II so far this season, is a NCAA Championships provisional qualifier and moves the senior up to No. 6 on the GNAC all-time list in the event. Also Nominated: Chase Stephens (Concordia), Michaela Johnson (Montana State Billings), Artresa Nickelsen (Saint Martin’s), Olivia Woods (Western Oregon), Claire Hansen (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S FIELD
Christina MacDonald
(Concordia, Sr., Myrtle Creek, Ore. – Oregon State Univ.) MacDonald opened the season by tying the GNAC record in the weight throw at the UW Preview, placing third with a mark of 58 feet, 2.5 inches. She equaled the mark set by Kristin Hepler of Western Oregon is 2004. It is also an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier. MacDonald also placed sixth in the shot put with a mark of 46 feet, 9.5 inches. The mark is No. 5 on the GNAC All-Time List. Both marks are 11th best in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Shaniah Schwend (Montana State Billings), Tiffany Pott (Saint Martin’s), Jasmine McMullin (Western Washington).

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