ANCHORAGE - Thirteen student-athletes representing each of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s intercollegiate sports have been nominated for the prestigious Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award for 2016-17.

The nominees are Matt Anholt (hockey), Jamie Ashcroft (women’s indoor track & field), Joyce Chelimo (women’s outdoor track & field), Kendra Daniels (gymnastics), Charley Field (women’s skiing), Morgan Hooe (volleyball), Edwin Kangogo (men’s cross country), Caroline Kurgat (women’s cross country), Tony Naciuk (men’s skiing), Dominik Notz (men’s indoor track & field), Kiki Robertson (women’s basketball), Cody Thomas (men’s outdoor track & field) and Suki Wiggs (men’s basketball).

The 33rd annual award will be presented Friday, April 28, at the athletic department’s all-sport banquet at Lucy Cuddy Hall on the UAA campus.

Anholt, a junior from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, led the Seawolves with team highs of 22 points and 17 assists. The team captain’s point tally matched his sophomore campaign, while his 3-assist game Feb. 10 helped UAA to a 3-2 road win at Lake Superior State.

Ashcroft, a senior from Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, was the NCAA Div. II West Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and a double All-American at the NCAA Championships, placing 7th in both the 200-meter dash and 4x400-meter relay. She was also named the Women’s Athlete of the Meet at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, breaking two league records and winning three titles, including her fourth straight in both the 60 and 200 meters.

Chelimo, from Kapsowar, Kenya, was nominated for her accomplishments during her junior season of 2016 in outdoor track & field, including Second Team All-America honors in the 5,000 meters and a GNAC title in the 10,000 meters. Her 5,000 time of 15:59.55 was a UAA record, while her 10,000 time of 33:14.41 broke the GNAC record and ranked 5th-fastest in NCAA Div. II history.

Daniels, from Veneta, Oregon, was one of the primary scorers for the Seawolf gymnastics team throughout the season, contributing on balance beam, floor exercise and vault. The junior broke the school beam record with a 9.9 on Feb. 19 and became the first UAA gymnast with four beam scores of 9.825 or better in the same season.

Field, an alpine racer from Pemberton, British Columbia, finished runner-up in the women’s giant slalom at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships and earned Second Team All-RMISA honors. The junior earned four top-10 results throughout the season and was an NCAA Championships qualifier.

Hooe, a setter from South Anchorage High School, earned All-America honors in leading the Seawolf volleyball team to the NCAA Div. II National Title Match, its second straight outright GNAC title and a program-best 34-3 record. The senior was voted the NCAA Div. II West Region and GNAC player-of-the-year, and was chosen to the all-tournament teams at both the West Regional Championships and Elite Eight. Hooe finished her 4-year career as UAA’s all-time assists leader and became one of the first two players in program history to play in four straight NCAA Tournaments.

Kangogo, from Eldoret, Kenya, earned his second consecutive All-America finish on the cross country trails, helping the Seawolf men to an 8th-place national finish and their seventh straight GNAC team title. The junior was the GNAC individual champion and finished a team-best fourth place at the NCAA West Region Championships, where UAA finished runner-up.

Kurgat – a two-time All-American from Eldoret, Kenya – earned the second podium appearance in Seawolf women’s cross country history, placing 3rd at the NCAA Championships to lead UAA’s 8th-place team finish. The junior was runner-up by just four seconds at the NCAA West Region Championships and won the individual title at the GNAC Championships, helping the Seawolves to a repeat team title.

Naciuk, an alpine racer from Calgary, Alberta, was the Seawolves’ top scorer at the NCAA Championships, placing 20th in both the slalom and giant slalom. The sophomore led the team with four top-10 results during the regular season, including 6th place in the slalom at the Utah Invitational.

Notz, a senior from Dettingen, Germany, earned the third and fourth indoor All-America honors of his career, placing 5th in the 5,000 meters and 7th in the 3,000 meters to pace the Seawolves at the NCAA Championships. He also set the UAA and GNAC records in the 3,000 with a time of 8:07.28, and helped the Seawolves repeat as GNAC champions with a victory in the 5,000.

Robertson, from Honolulu, Hawaii, finished a legendary career with UAA records of 700 assists, 382 steals and 116 victories as the Seawolves won their third straight GNAC regular-season and tournament titles, along with a 30-2 overall record and a No. 2 ranking in the national polls. The senior was also the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in three years, helping the Seawolves lead the nation in steals per game for the fourth year in a row.

Thomas, from Blenheim, New Zealand, was also nominated for his outdoor track & field performance from the 2016 season, in which he became the first Seawolf to earn the NCAA title in the decathlon, scoring a GNAC-record 7,590 points at the NCAA Championships. The GNAC Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year earned All-West Region honors in the 400 meters and 4x4 relay, and was all-conference in the high jump, 110-meter hurdles and long jump. Thomas capped his 4-year career with the USTFCCCA’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for men’s NCAA Div. II outdoor field.

Wiggs, a senior from Seattle, was a First Team All-West Region honoree and led the GNAC in scoring for the second year in a row, putting up 24.4 points per game – 5th-best in NCAA Div. II. The 6-4 guard also picked up his second straight unanimous First Team All-GNAC award and was a top-25 finalist for the Bevo Francis Award as the Seawolves finished 21-8 overall and runner-up in the GNAC.

The 2017 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year is selected for excellence in the 2016-17 athletic campaign. However, because of calendar concerns, this will mark the 11th straight award that takes the previous year’s track & field season into consideration.

The award is voted on by a committee comprised of UAA Athletics staff members, local media, and Benton Bay representatives.

Past Bill MacKay Athletes of the Year
Year Winner              Sport
2016 Megan Mullings      Women’s Basketball
2015 Cody Thomas         Men’s Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field
2014 Micah Chelimo       Men’s Cross Country/Indoor Track & Field/Outdoor T&F
2013 Micah Chelimo       Men’s Cross Country/Indoor Track & Field/Outdoor T&F
2012 Taylor Rohde        Men’s Basketball
2011 Ruth Keino          Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field
2010 Calli Scott         Volleyball
2009 David Registe       Men’s Track & Field
2008 Luke Cooper         Men’s Basketball
2007 Rebecca Kielpinski  Women’s Basketball
2006 Kemmy Burgess       Men’s Basketball
2005 Mandy Kaempf        Women’s Skiing/Cross Country Running
2004 Peter Bullock       Men’s Basketball
2003 Tobias Schwoerer    Men’s Skiing/Cross Country Running
2002 Tobias Schwoerer    Men’s Skiing/Cross Country Running
2001 Ed Kirk             Men’s Basketball
2000 Edda Mutter         Women’s Skiing
1999 Jim Hajdukovich     Men’s Basketball
1998 Zuzana Razusova     Women’s Skiing
1997 Frode Lillefjell    Men’s Skiing/Cross Country Running
     and Elena Tkacheva  Gymnastics
1996 Allegra Stoetzel    Women’s Basketball
1995 Jason Kaiser        Men’s Basketball
     and Karen Hoey      Gymnastics
1994 Kerry Robitaille    Gymnastics
1993 Jennie Szczerbinski Volleyball
1992 Jon Pauole          Swimming
1991 Paul Krake          Hockey
1990 Teri Frankie        Gymnastics
1989 Michael Johnson     Men’s Basketball
1988 Robin Graul         Women’s Basketball
1987 Hansi Gnad          Men’s Basketball
1986 Teri Frankie        Gymnastics
1985 Tiina Kantola       Women’s Skiing/Cross Country Running