Logo courtesy of the Great Northwest Athletic Conferece

WWU Vikings Earn 6 GNAC Weekly Awards

March 19, 2019 

Western Washington University dominated the Great Northwest Athletic Conference weekly awards. Six Vikings came away with Athlete of the week honors awarded by the conference on Monday. 

Emily Benson and Makinlee Sellevold swept the softball honors. The Vikings took 3 of the 4 Track and Field awards courtesy of Dylan Hayes, Savannah Smith and Maddie Taylor. Finally in men's golf Nick Sparling was named GNAC Co-Golfer of the Week. 

Here's the breakdown of the awards won by the Vikings courtesy of gnacsports.com

SOFTBALL PLAYER
Emily Benson (Western Washington, 1B, 5-10, Sr., West Richland, Wash. – Kamiakin): Benson led the Vikings to a split of a pair of home doubleheaders by batting .583 in four games, going 7 for 12 with six runs, eight RBI and three home runs. Benson went 2 for 3 in Saturday’s second-game loss to Central Washington, which included a game-tying three-run homer in the third. She then went 3 for 3 in Sunday’s opening-game win over Saint Martin’s, including another two-run homer, and closed the weekend by going 1 for 1 with three walks in the nightcap. Her one hit was another two-run homer in the first inning. 

SOFTBALL PITCHER
Makinlee Sellevold (Western Washington, P/IF, 5-4, Sr., Everett, Wash. – Cascade): Sellevold amassed a 2.21 earned run average in two starts for Western Washington, allowing six runs, four earned, on 15 hits with 10 strikeouts in 12.2 innings. Sellevold threw 7.2 innings in the Vikings’ eventual 8-6, 10-inning loss to Central Washington on Saturday, allowing five runs, three earned, on 11 hits with three walks and five strikeouts. She rebounded to earn the win in Sunday’s 9-1, five-inning win over Saint Martin’s as she allowed one run on four hits with five strikeouts. 

MEN’S TRACK
Dylan Hayes (Western Washington, Sr., Seattle, Wash. – Garfield): Hayes was the top Division II finisher in the steeplechase at the L&C Spring Break Open. Hayes placed third in a time 9:25.37. The leading time in the GNAC so far this season, the performance also ranks ninth in Division II. 

MORE: Check out the full list of GNAC Weekly Award Winners

WOMEN’S TRACK
Savannah Smith (Western Washington, Sr., Renton, Wash. – Renton): Smith won the 400 meters by over a second at the Doris Heritage Track Festival in Seattle. Her winning time of 56.96 seconds leads the GNAC and ranks ninth in Division II this season. 

WOMEN’S FIELD
Maddie Taylor (Western Washington, Sr., Seattle, Wash. – Univ. of Montana): Taylor took over as the Division II national leader in the high jump with her victory at the Doris Heritage Track Festival. Taylor won by over three inches with a clearance of 5 feet, 8.5 inches, which is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier. The mark ties her for fifth on the GNAC All-Time List and leads Division II by an inch-and-a-half. 

MEN’S GOLF
Nick Sparling (Western Washington, Sr., Dublin, Ohio – Ohio State Univ.): Sparling tied for second place at the Notre Dame de Namur Argonaut Invitational, carding a score of 3-over-par 219 to lead Western Washington to the team title. He carded a low round of 2-under-par 70 in the second round as the Vikings won their fifth tournament out of seven total tournaments this season. 

- Doug Lange 

* Information from gnacsports.com used in this story. 

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