Men’s sprinter Alex Donigian and women’s distance runner Katelyn Steen were the most valuable track athletes and men’s jumper Brett Watson and women’s thrower Katie Reichert were the most valuable field athletes announced at the annual Western Washington University track and field awards ceremony held Thursday, May 28.
Donigian placed third at outdoor nationals in the 100 meters and was second at indoor nationals in the 60, earning United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-America honors for both. He also was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-Male Indoor Athlete of the Year.
Steen also was a USTFCCCA All-American in both outdoor and indoor track, placing second in the 3,000 steeplechase and third in the 5,000 at outdoor nationals, and fourth in the 5,000 and 10th in the 3,000 at indoor nationals.
Watson was named Outstanding Male Athlete of the Meet in leading WWU to a 176-174 upset victory at the GNAC Championships. He finished with 23-3/4 points, winning both the long jump with a mark of 24-1 3/4 that broke a school record that had stood since 1966, and his third league title in the high jump.
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Reichert placed fifth nationally in the women’s javelin to take USTFCCCA All-America honors for the third time.
Receiving most improved awards were women’s middle distance runner Haley O’Connor and men’s hurdler Travis Milbrandt. O’Connor placed 10th nationally in the 1,500 meters.
Earlier in the season, O’Connor set a school record in the 1,500 as did Milbrandt in the 110 hurdles.
Decathlete Michael Stralser was the men’s inspirational award winner, while jumper Jasmine McMullin received the women’s honor.
Newcomer of the Year honors went to men’s sprinter Alex Binkerd and women’s pole vaulter Anna Parades.
Named men’s team captains for 2015-16 were Sean Eustis, Cory Johnson, Milbrandt, Mark Seely and Nate van Tuinen.
Named women’s team captains were Brittany Grant, Taylor Guenther, Reichert, Bethany Drake and Miranda Osadechey.