Five Vikings named GNAC academic all-stars

Rory Blanche

Feb. 24, 2011

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University placed three men, forward Rory Blanche, center Chris Mitchell and guard Anthony Wiederkehr; and two women, forward Megan Pinske and guard Corinn Waltrip, on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Academic All-Star Team announced today.

It is the second straight year that Blanche and Pinske have been named. Wiederkehr also is a repeater, being honored two seasons ago.

Blanche was named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District college division second team earlier this season. A junior from Ashland, Ore., he is a manufacturing engineering technology major with a 3.73 grade point average (4.0 scale).

Blanche is averaging 14.3 points, scoring double figures 20 times and posting five double-doubles in points and rebounds, both team bests. He is shooting 62.6 percent from the field, which ranks 18th nationally, and leads Western with 6.7 rebounds.

Pinske is a communications major with a 3.41 GPA. A senior from Coquitlam, B.C., and a graduate of Port Moody Secondary School, she is averaging 10.3 points and is ranked among the GNAC's top 10 in six categories.

Mitchell is a physical education major, taking a program in pre-healthcare. A sophomore from Everson and a graduate of Nooksack Valley High School, he is maintaining a 3.36 GPA.

Mitchell is scoring 7.4 points per game on 53.3 percent field-goal shooting and is averaging 4.5 rebounds. He is hitting 42.9 percent form 3-point range, tied for fourth in the GNAC, and is 10th in blocks (0.6).

Waltrip is a sophomore from Tigard, Ore., with a 3.70 GPA. She is scoring 8.0 points per game and is sixth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and tied for seventh in 3-point makes (1.6).

Wiederkehr is a graduate student working on an MBA program and is maintaining a 3.30 GPA. A junior in eligibility from Lakewood, he earned his bachelor's degree in communications last spring with an undergraduate GPA of 3.36.

Wiederkehr is averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 assists in 17 games.

The Western women are 23-1, lead the GNAC standings at 16-0, and are ranked No.6 nationally and No.2 in the West Region. They end their regular season Thursday (7 p.m.) at Seattle Pacific.

The Viking men are 16-8 and second in the GNAC at 11-5. They close out the regular season at Montana State Billings on Thursday (7:30 p.m. MT).

Both teams will host first-round GNAC Tournament games on Monday, Feb. 28, with the women's game starting at 5 p.m. and the men's contest at 7:30 p.m.

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.