Drake Repeats as GNAC T&F Athlete of the Year

June 6, 2017

2017 GNAC Track & Field Awards

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Western Washington University senior Bethany Drake has been honored as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Female Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season as the 2017 GNAC track & field awards were announced Tuesday afternoon by the conference office.

Drake (Sandy, OR) concluded a remarkable collegiate career with her second national championship in the javelin at the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held May 25-27 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Her top mark at the national championships of 51.81m/170-0 was over 12 feet further than the 2nd-place finisher as she captured her second national title after also being crowned the national champion in 2014 and finishing as the runner-up in 2016. Drake was also the GNAC javelin champion during the 2017 outdoor season prior to competing at the national championships.

Drake becomes the fourth two-time recipient of the GNAC Female Athlete of the Year honor since 2002, joining Danielle Ayers-Stamper (SPU - 2003, 2005), Jessica Pixler (SPU - 2007, 2010) and Ashley Puga (NNU - 2008, 2009). She is the second WWU student-athlete to earn the honor after Sarah Porter was a co-recipient of the accolade in 2011.

In 2017, Drake's top season mark came at the GNAC Outdoor Championships with a throw of 52.40m/171-11. She placed 1st or 2nd at each meet except for one during her senior season, including 1st-place finishes at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, Bryan Clay Invite, GNAC Outdoor Championships and NCAA Division II Championships.  

A four-time outdoor national championships participant, three-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American and two-time national champion, Drake concludes her collegiate career with a career-best mark of 54.18m/177-9 ranking as the conference record as well as No. 2 in WWU history. Among an illustrious list of accolades and honors during her collegiate career, Drake's senior season alone has included the following honors:

  • 2017 NCAA II javelin national champion
  • USTFCCCA First Team All-American
  • USTFCCCA All-West Region
  • GNAC javelin champion
  • Two-time GNAC Women's Field Athlete of the Week
  • College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District 8
  • GNAC All-Academic Team
  • WWU Female Athlete of the Year (Co-Recipient)
  • WWU Female Scholar Athlete of the Year (Co-Recipient)
  • HERO Sports Division II HERO of the Year Finalist

GNAC Female Athlete of the Year (since 2002):
2002 Stephanie Huffman, Seattle Pacific
2003 Danielle Ayers-Stamper, Seattle Pacific
2004 Kelly Fullerton, Seattle
2005 Danielle Ayers-Stamper, Seattle Pacific
2006 Katie McMeel, Central Washington
2007 Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2008 Ashley Puga, Northwest Nazarene
2009 Ashley Puga, Northwest Nazarene
2010 Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific
2011 Sarah Porter, Western Washington & Helen Crofts, Simon Fraser
2012 Brittany Aanstad, Seattle Pacific & Susan Tanui, Alaska Anchorage
2013 Ali Worthen, Seattle Pacific
2014 McKayla Fricker, Seattle Pacific
2015 Lindsey Butterworth, Simon Fraser
2016 Bethany Drake, Western Washington
2017 Bethany Drake, Western Washington
 

Bethany Drake - 2017 Results

Date

Meet

Mark

Place

May 25-27

NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships

51.81m/170-0

1

May 12-13

2017 GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships

52.40m/171-11

1

May 5

2017 Ken Shannon Invitational

47.14m/154-8

2

April 29

2017 Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet

50.72m/166-5

2

April 13-14

Bryan Clay Invite

49.48m/162-4 

1

March 31-April 1

San Francisco State Distance Carnival

47.62m/156-3

1

March 31-April 1

Stanford Invitational

46.30m/151-11

5