BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Recent Western Washington University graduate Bethany Drake is one of 145 female student-athletes that have been nominated by conferences and an independent selection committee for consideration for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Drake (Sandy, OR) moved ahead in the voting process after being part of a pool of 543 nominees for the Woman of the Year award. Drake is one of 34 Division II student-athletes remaining in the award selection process, after 117 were originally nominated.
In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, which include 10 women from each division (I, II, III). At the end of September, the selection committee will select and announce nine finalists, with three from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those finalists.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual banquet Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991. Drake was part of a record group of 543 female college athletes that have been nominated by NCAA member schools for the Woman of the Year award. Established in 1991 and now in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
Drake was a standout for WWU both on the field of competition as a three-time All-American and two-time national champion in the javelin, and was also a star student-athlete earning numerous academic awards. She capped her career in 2017 being crowned the NCAA II javelin champion for the second time in her career (also 2014) and was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the NCAA Division II U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Female Outdoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Outside of competition, Drake graduated last June with a bachelor’s degree in art education, carrying a 3.87 cumulative grade point average. She walked again in June with a perfect 4.00 GPA while obtaining her Master in Teaching as she pursues a career as an art teacher. She was selected as a CoSIDA Academic All-American and became a three-time GNAC Academic All-Star. She was also named WWU’s co-Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
This marks the fourth time a WWU student-athlete has been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award since the school became of member of the NCAA in 1998-99. Drake joins Audrey Coon (Rowing) in 2010, Courtney Schneider (Volleyball) in 2008 and Jessica Telleria (Track & Field) in 2006. Coon was selected in the top 30 for the 2010 award.
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