BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University junior pole vaulter Anna Paradee has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for April 24-30 following a record-setting performance last Saturday at the 36th Annual Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet.
Paradee (Tacoma, WA/Decatur) won the pole vault after clearing 3.86m/12-8 with an outdoor personal-best performance to set the GNAC, school and meet records. The previous GNAC, school and meet records were held by current volunteer assistant coach Karis Anderson, who set a record mark of 3.85m/12-7.5 at the 2012 Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet.
The mark set by Paradee on Saturday improved upon her previous NCAA Division II provisional-qualifying height of 3.80m/12-5.5 set at the Stanford Invitational on March 31. Her effort ranks 15th among Division II competitors during the 2017 outdoor season.
Following Saturday, Paradee owns the outdoor and indoor pole vault school records. She cleared 3.92m (12-10.25) at the 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 10 to set the school indoor record and earn a share of the GNAC indoor record along with McKenna Emmert of Central Washington. Paradee is the defending GNAC outdoor pole vault champion and also won the 2017 GNAC indoor pole vault title before earning U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American honors with a 7th-place finish at the indoor national championships.
The GNAC weekly honor is the first for Paradee during the 2017 indoor and outdoor seasons. She was also named the GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for the week of March 16-22 in 2015 during her freshman season.
Paradee joins senior Bethany Drake (Sandy, OR) and senior Megan Mortensen (Tacoma, WA/Franklin Pierce) as WWU student-athletes to earn the GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honor in 2017. Drake has earned the honor twice during the current season (March 27-April 2, April 10-April 16) while Mortensen was recognized for the week of Feb. 27-March 5.
The season continues for WWU on Monday and Tuesday as junior Kaylie Greninger (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) is competing at the GNAC Combined Events Championships, hosted by Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. The Vikings continue the outdoor season at the Ken Shannon Invitational (May 5-6), hosted by the University of Washington, before traveling to the GNAC Outdoor Championships at Western Oregon University on May 12-13 in Monmouth, Ore.
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