Three Vikings named GNAC Academic All-Stars



Feb. 22, 2012

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University placed two men, forward Rory Blanche and center Chris Mitchell, and one woman, point guard Corinn Waltrip, on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Academic All-Star Team announced today.

It is the third straight year that Blanche has been named, while Mitchell and Waltrip were both picked for the second time.

Blanche was named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic NCAA Division II All-District first team earlier this season. A senior from Ashland, Ore., he is a manufacturing engineering technology major with a 3.74 grade point average (4.0 scale).

Blanche paces the Viking men with respective per game averages of 16.9 points and 7.3 rebounds. He is 16th nationally and second in the GNAC in field-goal shooting at 60.4 percent.

Mitchell is a physical education major, taking a program in pre-healthcare. A junior from Everson and a graduate of Nooksack Valley High School, he is maintaining a 3.42 GPA.

Mitchell is averaging 7.0 points and 4.3 rebounds. He ranks 11th in the league in three-point shooting at 43.1 percent.

Waltrip is a junior from Tigard, Ore., with a 3.63 GPA. She leads the Vikings in scoring, averaging 12.5 points. Waltrip ranks among the GNAC top 10 in five categories, leading the league in free-throw accuracy at 88.0 percent (44-of-50).

The Viking men, ranked No.14 nationally, are 23-4 overall and lead the GNAC at 14-2. They end their regular season this week, playing host to No.24 Seattle Pacific on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Montana State Billings on Saturday (7 p.m.).

The Western women are 18-6 overall and second in the GNAC standings at 12-4. They end their regular season with road games Thursday (7 p.m.) at Seattle Pacific and Saturday (7 p.m.) at Montana State Billings.

To be eligible for the GNAC academic team, student-athletes must earn a letter, have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 and be in at least their second year of competition at their university.