NEW ORLEANS, La. – The trophy case and national recognition of Alaska Anchorage junior Caroline Kurgat continue to grow as she was named the National Women’s Athlete of Week for an incredible fifth time this year, revealed Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Kurgat has now earned two National Women’s Athlete of the Week honors for outdoor track and field, and three for cross country during the 2017-18 seasons.
The Eldoret, Kenya product received the latest honor after recording the third-fastest 5,000-meter time in Div. II history in 15 minutes, 41.21 seconds at the Payton Jordan Invitational on Thursday in Stanford, Calif.
She won her heat and finished 17th out of 40 professional and Div. I runners. Kurgat owns the third- and fifth-fastest times in the Div. II record books, bettering her GNAC record of 15:43.95 set at the Bryan Clay Invite on Apr. 20.
The 2017 Div. II cross country national champion and UAA's 2017-18 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year garnered National Athlete of the Week honors following a fifth-place finish at the USF Invite (highest DII finisher), and wins at the Div. II Conference Crossover and GNAC Cross Country Championships.
Kurgat earned the same accolade during the outdoor track season after clocking 15:43.95 in the 5,000 meters and 4:21.18 in the 1,500, Apr. 19-20 at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Calif. She redshirted the indoor campaign.
Kurgat’s five National Athlete of the Week awards match what all previous Seawolf cross country and track and field athletes have won.
UAA returns to action at the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Outdoor Championships, May 11-12 in Monmouth, Ore.
2017-18 – CAROLINE KURGAT’S AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
– National Scholar Athlete of the Year
– DII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for Cross Country
– National Athlete of the Year
– National Individual Champion
– West Region Athlete of the Year
– 3-time USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week (Sept. 5, Oct. 9, Oct. 23)
– All-West Region
– GNAC Runner of the Year
– 2-time GNAC Runner of the Week (Aug. 28 – Sept. 3, Oct. 2-8)
– GNAC All-Academic
– 2017-18 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year
OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD
– 2-time USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week (Apr. 24, May 8)
– 4-time GNAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week (Mar. 19 – 25, Mar. 26 – Apr. 1, Apr. 16 – 22, Apr. 30-May 6)
– 3 School records (1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters)
– 2 GNAC records (5,000 meters, 10,000 meters)
– 2nd-fastest 10K time and 3rd-fastest 5K time in Div. II history
LIST OF UAA USTFCCCA NATIONAL ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
2013 Micah Chelimo
2014 Karolin Anders
OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD
2013 Ruth Keino
2018 Caroline Kurgat (Apr. 24, May 8)