Monday, April 21, 2014

Fricker named GNAC women's track athlete of week; Taplin to be inducted into Penn Relays wall of fame...

PORTLAND--Seattle Pacific senior middle distance runner McKayla Fricker (left/photo by Paul Merca) was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference track athlete of the week for the week ending April 19th.

Fricker, a native of Camby, Oregon, set a personal best time of 2:06.85 at the Mt SAC Relays in Walnut, California last Friday (April 18th), and in the process ran the fifth fastest mark in conference history.

One day later, she set a personal best and NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 1500 at the Beach Invitational in Norwalk, stopping the clock at 4:32.35, bettering her previous PR of 4:35.30 set at last year's GNAC championship meet.

Fricker is currently #3 on the NCAA Division II list behind Concord's Shawnee Carnett at 2:06.19, and Chante Roberts of Adams State at 2:06.35.


Cleveland High School alum Cheryl Taplin (photo by Paul Merca), one of the greatest sprinters in Washington state high school history, will be one of four athletes to be inducted into the Penn Relays Wall of Fame this week.

Taplin, who attended Louisiana State University and graduated in 1994, earned two victories each in the 100-meter dash and the 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays. In the latter event she ran on a pair of record setting teams, the second of which—in 1994—was an American record 1:32.55 which she anchored. She also set a meet record in the 100-meters that year and was the Carnival’s outstanding female collegian.  During her career at LSU, she earned six Penn Relays watches.

After LSU, she made two world championship teams at 200 meters, was part of a Team USA 4 x 100 relay squad that won the 1998 World Cup, and ran on the 1999 USA 4 x 100 relay team that finished fourth at the world championships in Seville, Spain.

Following the conclusion of her athletic career, Taplin worked in community services for the Seattle Mariners before being hired by former University of Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham to work in football operations.

After Willingham was fired, she stayed with the Husky football program, working under Steve Sarkisian, before following him to USC.

Taplin joins Dartmouth hurdler Earl Thomson, New York prep Mike Stahr, and Syracuse discus thrower Anthony Washington along with the 1914 Oxford 4 x mile relay, 1939 Pitt 880 yard relay, 1964 Kingston College (Jamaica) 440 yard relay, and the 2003 LSU shuttle hurdles relay anchored by Lolo Jones.

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