BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University Track & Field program will be represented by student-athletes Bethany Drake (Javelin), Brittany Grant (Steeplechase) and Anna Paradee (Pole Vault) at the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The championships will be held May 25-27 in Bradenton, Florida at IMG Academy. The University of Tampa and IMG Academy will serve as co-hosts of the championships. The championships will be streamed live on NCAA.com each day with live results also available online.
The trio of WWU female student-athletes were part of a group of 43 athletes from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference that qualified for the national meet. A total of 754 participants — 377 men and 377 women — will compete in the championships after qualifying for the championships by reaching the automatic and provisional standards established for each event.
Drake (Sr., Sandy, OR) will be competing in the javelin at the national championships for the fourth time in her career and will be looking to add a second national title to her trophy case. Drake placed 13th at the national meet as a freshman, won the title in 2014, redshirted in 2015 and placed 2nd last season. She enters the meet ranked 2nd in NCAA II with a season-high toss of 52.40m/171-11 recorded over the weekend while winning her first GNAC title. Estefania Lopez of Fort Hays Stats is the current national leader with a season-high mark of 53.77m/176-5.
Grant (Jr., Port Townsend, WA) is ranked 15th nationally in the 3,000m steeplechase with a season-best time of 10:32.60 recorded at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. She won the GNAC title in the event over the weekend in a time of 10:43.80. This will be the second time Grant has competed at the national championships, placing 20th in last year’s steeplechase and 21st in the 5,000m.
Paradee (Jr., Tacoma, WA/Decatur) enters the NCAA II Championships ranked 6th in the nation with a season best mark of 4.01m/13-1.75. The junior twice set the WWU and GNAC marks in the pole vault, first clearing 3.86m/12-8 at the Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet in Bellingham, and then shattered her own record with an NCAA II automatic qualifying mark of 4.01m/13-1.75 at the Ken Shannon Invitational in Seattle.
The Vikings placed 2nd (men) and 5th (women) at the GNAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships over the weekend. Five WWU male student-athletes recorded an NCAA II provisional qualifying mark, including three by junior thrower Brandon Pless (Sedro-Woolley, WA) in the discus, shot put and hammer throw, but did qualify for the national championships.
2017 NCAA II Outdoor Track & Field Championships:
Drake Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
WWU graduate is one of 117 Division II student-athletes up for prestigious NCAA award
Drake Named First Team Academic All-American
Senior javelin thrower and two-time national champion recently completed graduate degree at WWU
Drake Named GNAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Senior javelin thrower adds to list of academic and athletic awards during her WWU career
Drake Repeats as GNAC T&F Athlete of the Year
Senior javelin thrower Bethany Drake earns conference track & field award for second consecutive year
Drake and Paradee Named USTFCCCA All-Americans
Senior Bethany Drake won second javelin national title, junior Anna Paradee placed 11th in the pole vault
Six Vikings Earn Academic All-District Honors
Bethany Drake, Anna Paradee, Jasmine McMullin, Alex Barry, Gordie Kordas and Andrew Wise earn academic award
Bethany Drake Wins NCAA II Javelin Title
Anna Paradee finishes 11th in the pole vault to earn Second Team All-America honors
Bethany Drake - Saving the Best For Last
WWU javelin thrower Bethany Drake goes for her second national championship this weekend
Grant Races in Steeplechase at NCAA Championships
Senior Brittany Grant places 11th in preliminary heat at IMG Academy on Thursday
Trio of Vikings Headed to NCAA II Championships
Bethany Drake (Javelin), Brittany Grant (Steeplechase) and Anna Paradee (Pole Vault) travel to Florida
Track & Field Places 29 on GNAC All-Academic Teams
16 WWU women, 13 WWU men earn GNAC All-Academic honors
Six Vikings Earn USTFCCCA All-Region Honors
Four WWU women, two WWU men honored as All-West Region selections
Vikings Sending Three to NCAA Championships
Brittany Grant, Bethany Drake and Anna Paradee will compete at the NCAA II Track & Field Championships
WWU Men 2nd, Women 5th at GNAC Championships
Vikings win five individual titles on Saturday, WWU men narrowly edged by Alaska Anchorage
WWU Men 3rd, Women 5th After Day 1 of GNAC Championships
Senior Brittany Grant wins 3,000m steeplechase title among strong performances for WWU on Friday