JOPLIN, Mo. – Powered by the men's individual national title from senior Micah Chelimo and a runner-up women's finish from junior Susan Tanui, the Alaska Anchorage men produced a program-best third-place result, while the women’s team finished sixth Saturday at the 2012 NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championships.
The men’s team, which was ranked No. 7 entering the meet, made UAA history, finishing third with 148 points in the 10K race – UAA’s highest team finish ever, topping 8th-place showings in 2011 and 2010. Collecting the top team honor was No. 1-ranked Adams State with 34 points, by posting all five of their scorers in the top 15. Colorado Mines took runner-up with 102 points, while Augustana (S.D.) (182 points) and West Region foe Chico State (183), rounded out the top five, respectively.
On the women’s side, the Seawolves finished sixth in the team standings with 202 points, just two points shy of fifth place Chico State (200). Grand Valley State (101) raced to the team victory, bypassing Augustana (104) by just three points. Adams State (109) took third and Western State (172) took fourth.
Chelimo, a senior who was second following the first half split (14:20.7), furnished his second NCAA title and UAA's first-ever in cross country with a winning time of 28 minutes, 56.6 seconds. A native of Kapkoi, Kenya, Chelimo outdistanced Adams State’s Kevin Batt (29:12.1) by over 15 seconds. The two-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference and West Region cross country champion also won the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Div. II Track & Field Championships in May.
Joining Chelimo on the All-America team was senior
Alfred Kangogo (Eldoret, Kenya) and sophomore Dylan Anthony (Kodiak). Kangogo registered his best performance at the NCAAs, finishing 14th with a time of 29:56.5, while Anthony crossed the finish line for UAA at 30:09.4, good for 23rd and his first All-America accolade.
Also scoring for the Seawolves was sophomore Kevin Rooke (30:55.3) in 67th and senior Jake Parisien (30:58.9) in 72nd, while sophomore Isaac Kangogo (31:47.0) finished 127th and freshman Dominik Notz (32:40.9) finished 189th.
Earning UAA’s highest individual result ever on the women’s side was Tanui (Eldoret, Kenya) in second place. Tanui, who led at the halfway point (10:15.7), completed the 6K race at the Missouri Southern Cross Country Course with a runner-up time of 20:12.6, just 9.3 seconds behind Adams State's Alicia Nelson (20:03.3). Tanui, who was undefeated prior to the NCAAs, earned her first All-America honor in cross country. UAA’s previous best for the women’s program was seventh by Ruth Keino in 2010.
Junior Ivy O’Guinn was the Seawolves’ next runner across the line, finishing 48th with a time of 21:34.5, while senior Miriam Kipng’eno completed her college career with a 50th-place showing at 21:35.9. Making her NCAA debut and finishing 62nd was freshman Sarah Freistone (21:46.9), and junior Susan Bick (22:10.6) rounded out the scorers in 93rd.
Also racing for UAA was sophomore Bryn Haebe (100th, 22:20.9) and senior Katie Krehlik (170th, 22:57.8).
With the top 40 individual places receiving All-America honors, UAA’s four accolades gives the Seawolves a combined 20 (11 men, 9 women) in program history. Chelimo has posted All-America honors all four seasons, improving from 40th in 2009 to 21st in 2010 and 15th last year.
UAA has now competed in 16 NCAA races (9 men, 7 women), including consecutive appearances in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and now 2012.The Seawolves, who also swept the GNAC Championships earlier this season, will go straight into UAA’s first Indoor Track & Field season.
UAA INDIVIDUAL NCAA CHAMPIONS
Year Athlete Event
2005 Mandy Kaempf 15K Freestyle
2005 Mandy Kaempf 5K Classical
2002 Aurore de Maulmont Giant Slalom
1997 Doris Hausleitner 5K Classical
1994 Minna Turvo 5K Classical
Year Athlete Event
2010 Andreas Adde Slalom
1997 Izidor Jerman Slalom
1997 Frode Lillefjell 10K Classical
1991 Stig Mattsson 20K Classical
Men's Outdoor Track & Field
2012 Micah Chelimo 5,000 Meters
2008 David Registe Long Jump
Men's Cross Country
2012 Micah Chelimo 10K