UAA women win GNAC crown, men 2nd
NAMPA, Idaho – The Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s track & field teams made program history Saturday when the women’s squad cruised to victory in their indoor debut, while the men’s team finished runner-up at the 2013 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Championships.
The women’s team combined for 147 points over the two-day meet, outdistancing second place Western Washington (117.5) and third place Seattle Pacific (99) – who was seeking its 10th consecutive title at the Jackson Indoor Complex. Paced by the meet’s Most Outstanding Male Performer in Micah Chelimo, the men’s team finished second with 134 points, just 18 points behind winner Western Washington (152). Western Oregon took third place with 120 points.
Collectively, the Seawolves amassed eight individual and relay titles – three on the women’s side and five for the men. Easily earning the top honor for the meet, Chelimo alone registered three individual titles. Following a win in the 3,000 meters on Friday, Chelimo added a victory in the One Mile at 4:12.46 and in the 5,000 meters at 14:55.17.
Leading the Seawolf women with two wins and a runner-up performance was junior Susan Tanui. The 2012 NCAA Div. II Cross Country runner-up, Tanui took home the GNAC title in the 5,000 meters with a time of 17:51.26 and finished second in the One Mile at 4:58.97. Tanui also won the 3K on Friday, crossing at 9:54.95.
Freshman Rosie Smith made her mark in the UAA history books, winning the 200 meters with a time of 25.20, while finishing second in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.80. Her 200 meter time is the third fastest in GNAC history.
Picking up 10 points for the men was UAA newcomer Cody Thomas in the heptathlon. Thomas became the first Seawolf to win a multi-event title with 4,863 points, while setting a GNAC-meet record and the second-best point total ever in the league.
UAA’s final title came on Friday in the men’s distance medley relay, where the Seawolves used a combined time of 10:06.58 for the win. The Seawolf foursome included Joe Day, Ethan Hewitt, Alfred Kangogo and Isaac Kangogo.
Overall, the Seawolves furnished 25 top-three finishes, with three athletes collecting multiple individual podium spots – senior Ruth Keino, freshman Dylan Anthony, junior Jake Parisien. Keino finished runner-up in both the 3K and 5K and finished third in the One Mile, while Anthony and Parisien collected the 2-3 positions in both the 3K and 5K, respectively.
The Seawolves won’t return to action until qualified individuals take off for the 2013 NCAA Div. II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala., on March 7-9, while the rest of UAA will commence outdoor training before seeing the Ben Brown Invite on March 8-9.