By: Mike DeVader, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Maria Bernard of British Columbia has been named the NAIA National Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week and Amy Blucker of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) has been named the NAIA National Women's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Bernard and Blucker were selected based on their performances from March 30 – April 5. This is the third award of the 2015 outdoor track & field season.
Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week
Maria Bernard, British Columbia
Sr., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
• In the British Columbia Invitational on April 3, Bernard posted the best 3,000-meter steeplechase time in the NAIA so far this year (10:15.6), en route to winning the event.
• The senior from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, surpassed the NAIA 'A' standard as well as the Canadian standard for the Summer Universiade in South Korea, meaning she is eligible for selection to Team Canada for the event – also known as the World University Games.
• Bernard finished off the meet by placing second in the 10,000-meters, recording a time of 35:13.16, which was just behind teammate Amelie de Fenoyl.
• Her time is the second best in the NAIA so far this year, and eclipsed the national 'A' standard.
Women's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week
Amy Blucker, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
Jr., Galesburg, Ill.
• Blucker took home three event victories at the NCAA Division III Anderson (Ind.) Easter Invite on April 2 – shot put, discus and hammer throw.
• Her shot put mark of 15.5 meters (50-10 ¼) stands as the No. 1 finish in the NAIA this year. The junior hit 44.2 meters (145-0) in the discus – a stadium record.
• In the Galesburg, Ill., native’s final competition, the hammer throw, she nailed 54.32 meters (178-2). That effort set a new stadium record and is tops in all of the NAIA.
• Blucker’s last national honor came in week five of last year (April 16, 2014).
For the complete Athlete of the Week calendar, click here.
Track Nominees: Natalia Alfonzo, Missouri Baptist; Sarah Pollmann, St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.); Grace Young, William Woods (Mo.); Taylor Lloyd, Park (Mo.); Mykelle Andrews , Union (Ky.); Alyssa Harmon, Northwest Christian (Ore.); Jessie Rozario, Southern Oregon; Cecilee Russell, Corban (Ore.); Jenna Moody, St. Francis (Ill.); Jo Boren, Grace (Ind.); Hannah Williams, Indiana Wesleyan; Elaine Schmeltz, Taylor (Ind.); Mycah Ridder, Spring Arbor (Mich.) ; Jessi Habegger, Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio); Katrina Nolan, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho); Claudia Hewston, Great Falls (Mont.); Kara Barth, Carroll (Mont.); Kim Wood, Concordia (Neb.); Sydney Holtmeier, Doane (Neb.); Jenna Rangel, Avila (Mo.); Kaitlyn Loeffler, Central Methodist (Mo.); Brenda McCollum, Baker (Kan.); Sarah Niemeier, Missouri Valley; Taylor Needham, Southwestern (Kan.); Laura Gibson, McPherson (Kan.); Rashe Boynton, Bethel (Kan.); Betzabeth Garcia, Kansas Wesleyan; Taylor Needham, Southwestern (Kan.); Kailtlyn Keck, Friends (Kan.); Allie Kann, Indiana East; Katie Guarnaccia, Point Park (Pa.); Danielle Hoop, Cumberlands (Ky.); Renee Hurd, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Katie Roberts, Grand View (Iowa); Molly Jo Smith, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Krista Bushkofsky, Clarke (Iowa); Tarah Alexander, William Penn (Iowa); Bianca Farrington, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Maria Aguayo, Texas Wesleyan; Annie Cooks, William Carey (Miss.); Amie Wimberly, Mobile (Ala.); Precious Semien, Loyola (La.); JaLeea Bonnell, Belhaven (Miss.); Kristen Metcalfe, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); Betsy Douglas, USC Beaufort (S.C.); Markie Abbott, Northwood (Fla.); Jessy Scarpone, SCAD Savannah (Ga.); Julie Oosterhouse, Cornerstone (Mich.); Stephanie Marquardt, Siena Heights (Mich.); Alli Veneklase, Davenport (Mich.).
Field Nominees: Madeline Emme, William Woods (Mo.); Trei Brown, Park (Mo.); Alex Prokopchak , Union (Ky.); Charnay Ryland, Montreat (N.C.); Emma Buchholz, Concordia (Ore.); Sarah Taylor, Corban (Ore.); LaChrissa Safforld, St. Francis (Ill.); Jeslyn Lewton, Bethel (Ind.); Liz Brueggeman, Spring Arbor (Mich.); Emily Stearns, Indiana Wesleyan; Haley White, Taylor (Ind.); Maddie Underwood, Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio); Hannah Treadway, Grace (Ind.); Crystal Schmidt, Carroll (Mont.); Daphne Puckett, Great Falls (Mont.); Cassie Starks, Concordia (Neb.); Karen Ettleman, Northwestern (Iowa) ; Neeia Cooperwood, Morningside (Iowa) ; Jessica Vogt, Doane (Neb.); Brittney Brisco, Missouri Valley; Stephanie Atkinson, Central Methodist (Mo.); Morgan Darden, Bethany (Kan.); Aubree Young, Friends (Kan.); Aubree Young, Friends (Kan.); Vianka Cotton, Point Park (Pa.); Amber Dwyer, Indiana East; Courtney Rhodes, Cumberlands (Ky.); Janice Brown, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); JaNaiqua Horne, Campbellsville (Ky.); Taylor Wells, Grand View (Iowa); Meaghan Foster, William Penn (Iowa); Whitney Leuenberger, Dickinson State (N.D.); Jessica Meland, Valley City State (N.D.); Nina Sato, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Kailene Allis, Texas Wesleyan; Stevie Baray-Forget, Loyola (La.); Keionna Gines, William Carey (Miss.); Michelle Mayes, Mobile (Ala.); Ty'Chelle Freeman, USC Beaufort (S.C.); Halle Green-Anderson, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); Jamie Gray, SCAD Savannah (Ga.); Marissa Johnson, Siena Heights (Mich.); Gabriela Holyfield, Cornerstone (Mich.); Tessa Gryzen, Davenport (Mich.).
2015 Women's Outdoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week (Field; Track)
Week 1 (March 25): McKenzie Warren, Concordia (Ore.); Alexis Browner, Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Week 2 (April 1): Elizabeth Dadzie, Oklahoma Baptist; Hannah Fields, Oklahoma Baptist
Week 3 (April 8): Amy Blucker, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Maria Bernard, British Columbia