BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s cross country seasons remained perfect with team and individual victories at the 38th annual Western Classic Invitational on Saturday. The undefeated Seawolves were led by winning efforts from senior All-American Ruth Keino and junior All-American Micah Chelimo at East Lake Padden Park.
Three weeks off didn’t affect UAA, as the No.6-ranked women’s squad registered its fourth win of the season with 45 points. The Seawolves downed the University of Victoria (B.C.), which came in second with 57 points, while Club Northwest was third with 101. Great Northwest Athletic Conference foes Simon Fraser (107) and host Western Washington (126) rounded out the top five.
Collecting her fourth straight win of the season was Keino as the Kapcheno, Kenya, native completed the 6K race in a time of 21 minutes, 10 seconds – nine seconds ahead of Club Northwest’s Claudia Copeland. Jessica Smith (21.32) of SFU finished third.
Also scoring for UAA was junior All-American Miriam Kipng’eno (22:08) in seventh, sophomore Ivy O’Guinn (22:11) in ninth, sophomore transfer Susan Tanui (22.23) in 13th, and sophomore Susan Bick (22:31) in 16th.
Like the women, the UAA men’s squad – ranked No. 12 in the latest national poll – placed all five scorers in the top 16 for its fourth consecutive triumph. The Seawolves tallied 33 points to defeat Victoria (43). WWU came in third with 86 points, while Club Northwest (127) and fellow GNAC foe Saint Martin’s (131) finalized the top five.
Chelimo, from Kapkoi, Kenya, added his second individual win of the season in 31 minutes, 5 seconds, edging Victoria’s Cliff Childs by 14 seconds in the 10K race. Teammate Yonatan Yilma claimed his fourth top-three finish of the season with a third-place result at 31:24.
The Seawolves will be idle next weekend as they prepare for the GNAC Championships on Oct. 22 in Yakima, Wash. Currently, both Seawolf teams lead the GNAC in the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association national poll and rank No. 2 in their respective West Region polls.