BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University junior pole vaulter Anna Paradee has been honored as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Field Co-Athlete of the Week for May 1-7 after breaking her own GNAC and school pole vault records with an NCAA Division II automatic-qualifying performance last Saturday at the Ken Shannon Invitational, hosted by the University of Washington at Husky Track.
Paradee (Tacoma, WA/Decatur) cleared 4.01m/13-1.75 on her second attempt to set the conference and school records after tying her previous personal best of 3.86m/12-8 with a clearance on her third attempt. She placed 2nd of 15 placers as the top NCAA Division II placer and automatically qualified for the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a mark ranking 6th among top NCAA Division II performances during the current season. Paradee joins senior Bethany Drake (javelin, 50.72m/166-5) as WWU student-athletes to record an NCAA Division II automatic-qualifying mark during the season.
An All-American with a 7th-place finish in the pole vault at the 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, Paradee will have the opportunity to compete on the national stage during the outdoor season as well. She previously set conference, school and meet pole vault records (3.86m/12-8) last weekend at the 36th Annual Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet in Bellingham before recording a record-setting personal best for the second weekend in a row last Saturday at the Ken Shannon Invitational.
Paradee holds the school indoor and outdoor pole vault records, clearing 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 pole vault champion for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Christina MacDonald of Concordia University earned a share of the GNAC Women’s Field of the Week honor after breaking the GNAC hammer throw record with a toss of 57.05m/187-2 at the Linfield Open to win the event. She also placed 2nd in the shot put (13.36m/43-10) and 3rd in the javelin (40.71m/133-7) at the meet.
With her second GNAC weekly honor in as many weeks, Paradee has three career weekly GNAC awards after also earning the GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week award for March 16-22 in 2015 during her freshman season.
Drake (Sandy, OR) and senior Megan Mortensen (Tacoma, WA/Franklin Pierce) have also received the GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honor in 2017 for the Vikings. 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 Vikings travel to the GNAC Outdoor Championships on Friday and Saturday, hosted by Western Oregon University at McArthur Field in Monmouth, Ore.
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