NEW ORLEANS, La. - Alaska Anchorage senior Micah Chelimo was named the National Men's Athlete of the Year for the 2012 cross country season by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday.
A local of Kapkoi, Kenya, Chelimo became the first UAA athlete to win a national title in cross country when he raced to victory in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championships, Nov. 17. The Great Northwest Athletic Conference and NCAA Div. II West Region champion, Chelimo posted a time of 28:56.6 to outdistance Adams State's Kevin Batt by 15 seconds.
With the win, Chelimo remained undefeated on the season and helped the Seawolves to their third straight GNAC team championship. The national title was the second of Chelimo's career, having won the 5,000-meter race at the NCAA Div. II Outdoor Track & Field Championships last spring.
Alicia Nelson of Adams State was named the National Women's Athlete of the Year, while Adams State's Damon Martin was recognized as the National Men's Coach of the Year and Jerry Baltes of Grand Valley State was named the National Women's Coach of the Year.
National Men's Athletes of the Year
Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage
2011: Ryan Haebe, Western State
2010: Michael Crouch, Queens (N.C.)
2009: Reuben Mwei, Adams State
2008: Scott Bauhs, Chico State
2007: Nicodemus Naimadu, Abilene Christian