ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – Senior two-time All-American Caroline Kurgat raced to victory and propelled the unranked Alaska Anchorage women’s cross country program to an impressive third-place finish at the Division II Conference Crossover at the Lewis Cross Country Course on Saturday.

Senior two-time All-American Edwin Kangogo and freshman Felix Kemboi both cracked the top 25 in a field of over 350 finishers, helping the No. 13 nationally ranked men’s team finish sixth.  

Kurgat, of Eldoret, Kenya, covered the six-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 18.9 seconds, besting Walsh University’s Sarah Berger by over 12 seconds (2nd, 21:31.5). Kurgat recorded her first victory of the season in her second race. She also won two races in both 2016 and 2015.

Also scoring for the Green & Gold were junior Zennah Jepchumba (15th, 22:12.0), sophomore Emmah Chelimo (26th, 22:30.4), junior Danielle McCormick (30th, 22:33.0), and senior Mariah Burroughs (57th, 23:00.0). All of UAA’s nine runners finished in the top 150 of 359 finishers.

No. 6 Cal Baptist bested the nationwide 34-team field with 51 points. No. 1 and defending national champion Grand Valley State finished in second with 66 points. Unranked UAA (3rd, 126 pts), No. 10 Walsh (4th, 188 pts), and No. 5 Hillsdale (5th, 192 pts) rounded out the top five. Eight ranked teams and four teams receiving votes – including the Seawolves – ran in the women’s competition. With its third-place showing, UAA bested six ranked foes.

In the men’s race, Kangogo, also of Eldoret, Kenya, led UAA in 19th place with an 8K time of 25:29.3. Freshman Felix Kemboi finished closely behind in 25:31.7 (23rd). Academy of Art’s Gatien Airiau won in 24:42.7.

Freshman Nickson Koech recorded a time of 25:48.4, good for 42nd. Junior Jorge Sanchez (75th, 26:12.4) and senior Nathan Kipchumba (78th, 26:14.8) completed the scoring.

Ranked programs were featured a top the men’s team standings as well. No. 3 Grand Valley State (1st, 55 pts) bettered No. 9 Cal Baptist (2nd, 121 pts) and No. 6 Southern Indiana (3rd, 150 pts) in the team competition. Unranked Lindenwood (4th, 191 pts), No. 11 host Lewis (205 pts), and No. 13 UAA (6th, 223 pts) rounded out the top six squads.

In total, the quality field featured 31 teams – eight were ranked and three received votes in this week’s USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll.

The meet is a product of legislative changes in Division II cross country for NCAA qualifying, which takes into account how programs perform against teams outside their region. 24 automatic bids will be awarded to the top three teams at each of the eight region championships in four weeks, for each gender. The remaining eight teams will be determined by performance throughout the season, with weight given to the Conference Crossover.

UAA will return to action and look to defend its titles at the GNAC Championships, Saturday, Oct. 21 in Bellingham, Wash. The men have won the last seven conference titles, while the women have earned seven of the last eight.  

 

UAA Results 

Women – 6K
 
#          Name                                        Time                PTS

1          Caroline Kurgat                       21:18.9            1

15        Zennah Jepchumba                22:12.0            15 

26        Emmah Chelimo                      22:30.4            26

30        Danielle McCormick               22:33.0            30

57        Mariah Burroughs                   23:00.0            54

66        Kimberly Coscia                       23:12.7            62       

75        Tamara Perez                           23:19.6            68          

124      Jordyn Block                             23:54.0            ---             

144      Michaela Keller-Miller               24:07.1            ---            

359      Finishers

 

Top 10 and Ranked Teams

#  (Rank)         School                         Pts

1  (6)               Cal Baptist                    51

2  (1)               Grand Valley State       66

3  (RV)             Alaska Anchorage     126

4  (10)             Walsh                            188     

5  (5)               Hillsdale                        192

6  (RV)            Northern Michigan         194

7                      Minnesota-Duluth          213

8  (18)             UC-Colorado Springs    271

9  (22)             Malone                          313

10                    Academy of Art             361

11 (17)            Cedarville                      367

12 (8)              South Indiana               379

13 (RV)           Edinboro                       413

20 (RV)           Fort Lewis                     533

34 Teams

  

Men – 8K

#          Name                                      Time                PTS  

19        Edwin Kangogo                    25:29.3            18

23        Felix Kemboi                         25:31.7            22

42        Nickson Koech                     25:48.4            40

75        Jorge Sanchez                      26:12.4            71

78        Nathan Kipchumba              26:14.8            74

81        Justin Carrancho                    26:16.2            77 

113      Kaleb Korta                             26:43.1            103

223      Taylor Turney                          27:47.5            ----

361      Finishers

 

Top 10 and Ranked Teams

#   (Rank)        School                          Pts

1   (3)              Grand Valley State       55

2   (9)              Cal Baptist                    121

3   (6)              Southern Indiana          150

4   (RV)           Lindenwood                  191

5   (11)            Lewis                             205

6   (13)            Alaska Anchorage       223

7                      Walsh                            256

8                      Academy of Art             258

9   (22)            Missouri Southern         258

10 (25)            Malone                          298

11 (RV)           Edinboro                        313

12 (15)            Bellarmine                     325

13 (RV)           UC-Colorado Springs    353

31 Teams