Western's Cook named GNAC co-Female Freshman of the Year
June 5, 2006
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University high jumper Clara Cook has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Track and Field co-Female Freshman of the Year.
Cook, who is from Wenatchee (graduate of Wenatchee High School), placed sixth at the NCAA Division II National Championships. There she cleared a personal-best 5-7 to become just the third athlete in Western history to earn All-America honors in that event, and the first since 1984.
Cook also reached 5-7 in winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title.
Cook shared the honor with Northwest Nazarene middle distance runner Ashley Puga.
GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
SPOKANE - Seattle Pacific's Chris Randolph has been selected the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Male Track-and-Field Athlete-of-the-Year for the third consecutive year.
Randolph received six of eight first-place votes in outpointing Central Washington thrower Cameron Neel, who received the two remaining first-place votes. Randolph shared the award in 2004 with Justin Lawrence of Central Washington before winning it outright last season.
Central Washington javelin thrower Katie McMeel was voted the GNAC Female Track-and-Field Athlete-of-the-Year. She received five first-place votes. Bridget Johnson of Western Oregon, Mary Pearce of Alaska Anchorage and Kelsey Cooley of Seattle Pacific all received one first-place vote.
Randolph won his second consecutive NCAA Division II national decathlon title this spring, scoring a GNAC record 7,872 points, the third highest score by an American this spring and the highest in the NCAA Division II national meet since 1988.
Randolph, who was voted the NCAA Division II National Field Athlete-of-the-Year, won the 400 meters (48.27) and also placed second in the long jump (21-8), third in the discus (150-11) and sixth in the 110 hurdles (16.09) in the conference meet. During the full-season, he had the best mark in the conference in four events - 400 (48.27), 110 hurdles (14.82), long jump (23-11 ¾) and decathlon (7872) - and the second best in the pole vault (15-5) and discus (161-9).
McMeel, who had a 13 foot improvement over her previous best in setting a GNAC record, nearly won the NCAA title in the javelin. She had the identical mark as the winner in English measurements, both being credited with throws of 160-4. However, Holly Noller of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville edged the CWU athlete 48.88 to 48.86 in meters.
Alaska Anchorage athletes won three of the four remaining awards.
Eric Draper and Pearce swept the GNAC Male and Female Newcomer-of-the-Year awards, while David Kiplagat won the GNAC Male Freshman-of-the-Year award. Clara Cook of Western Washington and Ashley Puga of Northwest Nazarene tied in the voting for the GNAC Female Freshman-of-the-Year award.
Draper, who also plays basketball for the Seawolves, set a GNAC record in winning the high jump with a leap of 6-9 ½ in the conference meet. Pearce, a transfer from Baylor, finished fifth in the national meet in the 400 meters in a GNAC-record time of 54.20 after sweeping the 200 (25.08) and 400 (55.65) in winning Outstanding Performer honors in the conference meet.
Kiplagat won the 1500 meters (3:58.09) and finished second in the 800 (1:53.73) in the conference meet. He also set a GNAC record during the regular-season in the 5000 with a time of 14:27.29.
Cook placed sixth in the national meet in the high jump after winning the conference title with identical marks of 5-7. Puga had the conference's season-best time in winning the 1500 at the GNAC championship meet in a time of 4:37.67. She also placed third in the 800 (2:18.82) in the conference meet and 10th in the 1500 (4:50.72) in the national meet.
Outstanding Male Athlete
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