PORTLAND, Ore. – Alaska Anchorage junior Caroline Kurgat became the first Seawolf runner – man or woman – to be named GNAC Track and Field Athlete of the Week three times in an outdoor season, revealed Monday by the league office.

Kurgat became the GNAC Women's Track Athlete of the Week after breaking two school records – including a GNAC record and posted two NCAA Div. II championship automatic qualifying times – in the span of two days, Apr. 19-20 at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Calif. 

On Thursday, Kurgat covered 5,000 meters in 15 minutes, 43.95 seconds – the fourth-fastest time in Div. II history and best this season.

The Nursing and Medical Laboratory Science major eclipsed the GNAC record of 15:44.07 set in 2011 by 12-time NCAA Div. II champion Jessica Pixler of Seattle Pacific. She bettered the UAA record of 15:59.55 established in 2016 by Joyce Chelimo. Kurgat improved upon her career-best 5K time by more the 45 seconds. She finished second in a deep 243-athlete field to professional runner Marielle Hall – a 2016 U.S. Olympian for 10,000 meters. Hall won in 15:39.42. 

On Friday, she shattered the 1,500-meter school record, running 4:21.18. Kurgat’s time stands as the fourth fastest in GNAC history, and second-fastest in Div. II this season. The previous UAA 1,500-meter record was set by Ivy O’Guinn (4:25.19) in 2012.

Kurgat was named GNAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week earlier this season after running an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 1,500 meters (4:26.16) on Mar. 24, and earning the second-fastest 10K time in Div. II history (32:33.24) on Mar. 30.

A handful of Seawolves will compete at the GNAC Multi-Event Championships, Apr. 30-May 1 in Nampa, Idaho. The majority of the remaining qualifiers will challenge for GNAC Outdoor Championships, May 11-12 in Monmouth, Ore.

2018 UAA GNAC TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

INDOOR
Jan. 8-14                     Christopher Brake       (Men’s Field)
Feb. 5-11                     Danielle McCormick  (Women’s Track)
Feb. 19-25                   Darrion Gray               (Men’s Track)

OUTDOOR
Mar. 19-25                  Caroline Kurgat          (Women’s Track)
Mar. 26-Apr. 1             Caroline Kurgat           (Women’s Track)
Apr. 9-15                     Danielle McCormick  (Women’s Track)
Apr. 16-22                   Caroline Kurgat           (Women’s Track)