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Sophomore Raquel Pellecer honored by conference following standout season for the Vikings. PHOTO: WWU Athletics

WWU's Pellecer Named GNAC Newcomer of the Year

June 4, 2018 

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University track & field sophomore Raquel Pellecer has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Female Newcomer of the Year for the outdoor track & field season, announced Monday by the conference office.

After transferring to WWU from Portland State, Pellecer (Sandy, OR/Portland State) concluded her first year competing for the Vikings by earning U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) First Team All-America honors with a 6th-place finish in the javelin at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina.

To be eligible for the GNAC Newcomer of the Year award, a student-athlete must be of sophomore eligibility or higher and in a first season of competition with a school.

Pellecer became the first WWU women’s track & field student-athlete to be named the GNAC Newcomer the Year (indoor or outdoor season) in the award’s history, and joined former Vikings Ryan Brown (2011 GNAC Male Newcomer of the Year) and Anthony Zackery (2010 GNAC Male Newcomer of the Year) as the only WWU track & field student-athletes to earn the honor for the outdoor season. WWU junior high jumper Tupre Wickliff (Vancouver, WA/Evergreen/Clark College) became the fifth Viking to be named the GNAC Male Newcomer of the Year for the indoor season when he was recognized following the 2018 indoor campaign.

Pellecer joined Wickliff as well as WWU women’s soccer junior forward Karli White (North Bend, WA/Mount Si/Seattle U.) and WWU women’s basketball sophomore guard Dani Iwami (Seal Beach, CA/Los Alamitos/Hawai’i Pacific) as Vikings to earn a GNAC Newcomer of the Year award during the 2017-18 academic year. 

One of four WWU women and seven Vikings overall to earn USTFCCCA All-West Region recognition during the outdoor season, Pellecer was also a three-time GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honoree and GNAC All-Academic selection. She competed in the javelin at 10 meets during her sophomore campaign, placing 1st at five meets, 2nd at three meets and 3rd at one meet before the All-American 6th-place finish at the national championships.

Pellecer’s personal-best javelin mark during the season came in earning All-GNAC honors at the GNAC Outdoor Championships with a throw of 48.01m (157-6) to place 2nd. The mark ranks No. 7 on the WWU top-10 list and No. 9 on the GNAC top-10 list. Her throw concluded the year as the No. 6 mark nationally on the NCAA Division II performance list for the season.

The 2nd-place finish for Pellecer at the conference championships scored 8 points in helping WWU to place 4th at the meet, while her 3 points scored with a 6th-place finish at the NCAA Championships placed the WWU women in a tie for 55th at the national championships.

-- @WWUTFXC --

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