Hilltopper Relays Day 2

Western Kentucky junior Annastacia Forrester competes Saturday in the women’s long jump during the Hilltopper Relays at WKU’s Charles M. Reuter Track & Field Complex. Forrester won with a distance of 6.04 meters.

Western Kentucky junior Annastacia Forrester wrapped up WKU’s competition at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a 20th-place finish in the women’s long jump finals, earning honorable mention All-American status Thursday.

Forrester’s performance at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, secured WKU’s third All-America accolade of the championships.

In Forrester’s first jump of the championships, she posted a distance of 18 feet, 8.5 inches. Her second turn saw the junior record a mark of 19-07.5 for her best jump of the night. Forrester’s final jump came in at 19-05.25.

Forrester is the third Lady Topper to collect All-American honors in the outdoor long jump. In total, she’s the fifth women’s long jumper in WKU history to achieve the feat.

Forrester qualified for the NCAA Championships after posting a personal-best 20-03.75 at the NCAA East Prelims to earn a trip to Austin on May 24.

On Wednesday, Kymari Gates (400-meter run) and the men’s 4x100 relay squad comprised of Gates, Martin Owusu-Antwi, Will Bush and Abdur Kelly collected Second-Team All-American honors for their performances.

Hilltopper softball adds Morehead State transfer Valencia

After graduating five seniors following Western Kentucky’s 2019 softball season, WKU coach Amy Tudor announced the addition of Morehead State transfer Princess Valencia to the Hilltopper program.

The Georgetown native is eligible to compete immediately following her freshman season with the Eagles in 2019.

“I am excited to add another big bat to our lineup. Princess brings power and experience to our offense,” Tudor said in a news release. “She has good game sense and will aid our pitching staff behind home plate and can play a corner position.”

Valencia appeared in 33 games with 30 starts for the Eagles this past season. A 5-foot, 6-inch catcher/infielder, Valencia hit .279 on the season while recording a .726 OPS. She registered 24 hits in 86 at bats while connecting for five doubles and a home run.

In her time behind the plate, Valencia caught 4-of-9 runners attempting to steal on Morehead State. Combined with her time in the outfield, she recorded a .938 fielding percentage with 50 putouts and 11 assists.

During her prep days at Scott County High School alongside current Hilltopper Kennedy Sullivan, Valencia was a three-time state champion. The Cardinals won the title in 2014, ’16 and ’18. Valencia was a four-year varsity starter and started playing on the high school squad in seventh grade. Her senior season, she racked up all-district, all-region and all-state team honors. In the classroom, Valencia was a first-team all-academic selection.

Set to join Valencia on the team at WKU this fall are Madeline Rider, Madeline Harris, Taylor Sanders, Tatiasha Webster, Carli Crowder and Brylee Hage. The incoming class hails from four states.

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