Wednesday, May 17, 2017

NCAA announces Division II field for national championships in Bradenton next week...

INDIANAPOLIS—Led by 2014 national champion and US Olympic Trials qualifier Bethany Drake (left/photo by Paul Merca) of Western Washington, and reigning national indoor and outdoor champion Mikel Smith of Saint Martin’s, the NCAA Tuesday announced the field of athletes selected to compete at the Division II national championships in Bradenton, Florida next week.

Western Washington will have three athletes in the field: Drake, steeplechaser Brittany Grant, and pole vaulter Anna Paradee.

Smith from Saint Martin's is the only male athlete from the four Washington GNAC schools to qualify for the national championship. He will be joined in Florida by javelin throwers Deanna Avalos and Jona Spiller, along with hammer thrower Kirby Neale.

Central Washington will have two athletes in the field: reigning GNAC 400 hurdles champ Emily Bland, and javelin thrower Angelique Whistocken.

Seattle Pacific’s three qualifiers for the national championships are GNAC long jump champ Kyra Brannon, 5000 meter runner Mary Charleson, and javelin thrower Sammi Markham.


The University of Washington women’s track team, which finished fourth at the recently concluded Pac-12 championships in Eugene, remains ranked in the national top 25 rankings released earlier this week.

The Huskies dropped one spot from the previous week’s ranking to #24.

The national women’s top five teams are Oregon, Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M, and Georgia.

Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include #6 USC, #19 Arizona State, and #20 Stanford.

NOTE:  The NCAA, USTFCCCA, and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

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