Three Wildcats earn GNAC awards

Jun. 4—PORTLAND, Ore. — Central Washington's Johan Correa, Isabella Haarer and Emy Ntekpere earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference awards Friday, with Correa winning the Male Athlete of the Year award, Haarer winning the Female Newcomer of the Year award and Ntekpere winning the Female Freshman of the Year award.

Correa, a mid-distance runner from Columbia, California, became the second men's athlete in program history to win the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field, joining Justin Lawrence who co-won the award in 2004. He finished fourth in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships, posting a new personal best time of 1:49.35 which was the fastest by a GNAC runner this spring and the seventh-fastest time in conference history.

"Johan winning GNAC Male Athlete of the Year is quite the award this year amongst a lot of really good guys," CWU track and field Head Coach Jonathan Hill said in a release. "If you were to take this vote midseason, Johan probably wouldn't look like the favorite, but Johan like always, is there when it counts and always there when we need him. He ran two really smart, strong races at the GNAC Championships to win that title and go to the NCAA Championships where he earned the coveted NCAA First Team All-American honor for the second time in his illustrious career."

Haarer, a native of Regensburg, Germany, had her highest mark in the pole vault at the GNAC Outdoor Championships, posting a personal best of 3.07 meters and taking sixth.

"Isabella embodies everything this award means," Hill said in a release. "She came into CWU on a mission and has only gotten better with every meet that she's partook in. She's always finding new ways to improve and continues to deliver her best every single day. We are so excited to see what growth she continues to show next year!"

In her first season of collegiate athletics, Ntekpere — made an appearance at the NCAA Championships as a high jumper. The freshman tied for 17th with a height of 1.66 meters at last month's outdoor championships. Throughout the season, Ntekpere won a GNAC gold medal in the triple jump, a silver medal in the long jump and a fourth-place finish in the heptathlon. Ntekpere, a Vancouver native, is the fifth woman in conference history to win freshman of the year awards in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

"Emy is now our indoor and outdoor Freshman of the Year. I think by now everyone knows who Emy is," Hill said in a release. "She is a remarkable talent, with an infectious personality. She can do it all and lights up the room doing it. What doesn't always go public is the hours of work she puts in and how dedicated she is to her craft. Emy is really a student of her sport and appreciates the highs and lows and everything in between the sport has to offer her. Her growth has been profound, but it's just the beginning."