Ashley Yandt, center, was a standout both on the water and in the classroom during her years at Western Washington University. PHOTO CREDIT WWU ATHLETICS

Ashley Yandt, center, was a standout both on the water and in the classroom during her years at Western Washington University. PHOTO CREDIT WWU ATHLETICS

Bonney Lake rower earns national student-athlete honor

Former Panther Ashley Yandt is a key athlete for the WWU Viking rowing team.

Ashley Yandt, a Bonney Lake High graduate and a member of the prestigious Western Washington University women’s rowing team, was honored as a Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar Athlete for the 2018 season.

She joined teammate Angie Dexter as a first-time selection on the Scholar Athlete list. To garner the elite academic award, rowing student-athletes must carry at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA or better for their career for the current competition season. The student-athletes must also be in their second, third or fourth year of eligibility and rowed in their institution’s NCAA eligible boat(s) for a minimum of 75 percent of the season’s races.

Yandt, a Lake Tapps resident, was a fixture for Western during the Vikings’ runner-up finish at the 2018 NCAA Division II Rowing Championships.

Yandt graduated from WWU with a degree in psychology, carrying a cumulative 3.67 GPA. During her final year of eligibility with the Vikings, Yandt rowed primarily out of the four-seat in the eights, which finished fourth in the Grand Final of the NCAA II Championships. Following graduation, she will be pursuing a master’s degree in sport and performance psychology at the University of Denver.

The WWU rowing program has had at least two student-athletes selected as CRCA Scholar Athletes every year since 2007.

With the national runner-up finish, Western Washington University ended the season No. 2 in the nation in the final CRCA/US Rowing poll, trailing only Central Oklahoma.

Success is nothing new at Western, where the Vikings have established themselves as one of the elite collegiate rowing programs in the country with eight NCAA Division II national championships to their credit. The Vikings won the 2017 national title and have competed in the NCAA Championships in 17 of the last 18 seasons. Western won seven consecutive DII national championships from 2005-11 and placed among the top three nationally each season from 2002 to 2014 with the Varsity 4+ and Varsity 8+ reaching the grand finals every time during that stretch.

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