Athletics News

Eight Vikings Earn GNAC FAR Academic Awards

July 7, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. - Eight Western Washington University student-athletes were recipients of Great Northwest Athletic Conference Faculty Athletics Representative's Scholar-Athletes awards for 2016-17 announced by the conference office.

Presented annually to the most outstanding student-athletes at each GNAC institution, the award honors those athletes who have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.85 or better. All student-athletes, including redshirts, listed on any squad list at a GNAC full-member school, regardless of whether the sport is a GNAC championship sport, are eligible for the award. Conference affiliate members could nominate student-athletes from the sport in which they compete in the GNAC. A record 193 GNAC student-athletes, including 57 men and 136 women, were recognized with FAR awards.

The national champion rowing program led the way with five of the eight selections. The eight selections are tied for the fourth-most by WWU student-athletes since the award started in 2011-12. Overall WWU's student-athletes combined for a 3.16 GPA in 2016-17, with 11 of 13 teams posting a GPA over 3.00 (Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field is combined).

WWU student-athletes honored included the following:

Name

Sport

Academic Major

Year

GPA

Hometown

Bethany Drake***

Track and Field

Master In Teaching

Grad.

4.00

Sandy, Ore.

Angie Dexter

Rowing

Undeclared

Fr.

3.96

Anchorage, Alaska

Autumn Harding

Rowing

Biology

Fr.

3.92

Kingston, Wash.

Aundrea Koger

Cross Country/Track

Biology

Fr.

3.90

Osage City, Kan.

Kelly Oberbillig

Rowing

Behavioral Neuroscience

So.

3.85

Milton, Wash.

Madi Stapleton

Rowing

Undeclared

Fr.

4.00

Kansas City, Kan.

Karisa Stapp***

Rowing

Accounting

Jr.

3.85

Bellingham, Wash.

Shawna Troupe****

Cross Country/Track

Sport Psychology

Sr.

3.94

Kelso, Wash.

Shawna Troupe (Kelso, WA) of the Cross Country and Track & Field became a four-time selection carrying a 3.94 GPA as a sport psychology major. Troupe finished her career placing 9th in the 1,500m at the GNAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Bethany Drake (Sandy, OR) earned the FAR Award for the third time in her career after earning her Master in Teaching certificate with a perfect 4.00 GPA. Drake won the 2017 NCAA Division II national championship in the javelin, her second national title, and was named the 2016-17 GNAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Karisa Stapp (Bellingham, WA/Mt. Baker) also became a three-time selection with a 3.85 GPA as an accounting major. Stapp helped lead the Vikings to the 2017 NCAA Division II rowing national championship as a key member of the Varsity 8+. She was named a First Team All-American and was a District 8 CoSIDA Academic All-District At-Large selection.

A faculty athletic representative (FAR) is a member of the faculty at a NCAA member institution who has been designated to serve as a liaison between the institution's faculty and the athletic department. The FAR serves as a representative of the institution in conference and NCAA affairs.

The role of the FAR is "to ensure that the academic institution establishes and maintains the appropriate balance between academics and athletics."

Dr. Bruce Larson, a professor in WWU's Woodring College of Education, is in his second term as WWU's Faculty Athletic Representative.

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About WWU Athletics: Western Washington University is a four-year public institution located in Bellingham, Washington, featuring over 300 student-athletes that compete for 15 intercollegiate athletic teams. WWU is entering its 20th year as a NCAA Division II member and competes primarily in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. WWU Athletics has finished in the top 50 in the NCAA II Learfield Directors' Cup standings in each of the last 14 years, and in the top 20 in eight of the last 10 years. WWU's programs have won 11 team national championships, most recently the 2016 women's soccer team and the 2017 women's rowing team. Outside of competition, WWU's student-athletes have compiled an academic success rate of 86%, well above the NCAA II national number of 71 percent. During the 2016-17 sports season, 13 of 15 teams advanced to their respective NCAA championships, 41 athletes earned all-region honors and 13 were named All-Americans.

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