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Three-time NCAA champion Micah Chelimo was the 2012-13 Bill MacKay UAA Athlete of the Year, while senior alpine skier Ida Bjerka earned the Seawolves' top academic honor, the Dresser Cup.
Courtesy: Sam Wasson/UAA Athletics

Chelimo captures MacKay AOY honor

Courtesy: UAA Media Relations
Release: 04/26/2013
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ANCHORAGE – After rewriting the Seawolves’ cross country and track & field record book, Micah Chelimo was recognized Friday as the 2012-13 winner of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award at the athletic department’s 29th annual end-of-year banquet at Lucy Cuddy Hall.

Over a 10-month period, the Kapkoi, Kenya, product captured three national titles and five All-American honors in his three sports, beginning with the 5,000 meters crown at the 2012 NCAA Div. II Outdoor Track & Field Championships last May.
Along with his time of 15 minutes, 15.85 seconds in the 5,000, he was also the runner-up in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:02.75, scoring a program-record 18 points and helping to boost UAA to a 9th-place at the 2012 NCAA meet.

Transitioning to the cross country trails in the fall, Chelimo finished an undefeated 2012 campaign by winning the national title in a 10K time of 28:56.6, leading the Seawolves to a program-best 3rd-place showing at the NCAA Championships. Prior to that, he swept the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and NCAA Div. II West Region titles for the second straight year, propelling the UAA men to their third straight GNAC team championship. A senior in cross country, he was also honored with the NCAA D-II Athlete of the Year and D-II Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA.

Most recently, Chelimo lifted the Seawolves to 11th place at the 2013 NCAA Div. II Indoor Track & Field Championships in March, blazing to the 5,000-meter title in 14:12.82. He also finished fourth in the 3,000 meters to run his career haul of All-America honors to a school-record 10, including four each in cross country and outdoor track.

Chelimo becomes the second men’s track & field or cross country athlete to win the MacKay award as UAA’s top athlete, joining David Registe (2008-09, T&F) and Tobias Schwoerer (2001-02 & 2002-03, XC).  

The MacKay AOY award, sponsored by the Benton Bay Athletic Lions Club and UAA Athletics, is voted on by a committee of UAA Athletics staff, Benton Bay members and local media.

The other 2013 nominees were Marine Dusser (women’s skiing), Lukas Ebner (men’s skiing), Kyle Fossman (men’s basketball), Alysa Horn (women’s basketball), Kimya Jafroudi (volleyball), Emily Petersen (gymnastics), Susan Tanui (women’s cross country and indoor/outdoor track & field) and Blake Tatchell (hockey).

Bill MacKay UAA Athletes of the Year
Year Winner              Sport   
2013 Micah Chelimo       M. Cross Country (Bio)/
                         Outdoor Track & Field/Indoor T&F (Bio)

2012 Taylor Rohde        M. Basketball
2011
Ruth Keino          W. Cross Country/Track & Field
2010 Calli Scott         Volleyball
2009
David Registe       M. Track & Field
2008 Luke Cooper         M. Basketball
2007 Rebecca Kielpinski  W. Basketball
2006 Kemmy Burgess       M. Basketball
2005
Mandy Kaempf        W. Skiing/Cross Country Running
2004 Peter Bullock       M. Basketball
2003 Tobias Schwoerer    M. Skiing/Cross Country Running
2002 Tobias Schwoerer    M. Skiing/Cross Country Running
2001 Ed Kirk             M. Basketball
2000 Edda Mutter         W. Skiing
1999 Jim Hajdukovich     M. Basketball
1998 Zuzana Razusova     W. Skiing
1997 Frode Lillefjell    M. Skiing/Cross Country Running
tie  Elena Tkacheva      Gymnastics
1996 Allegra Stoetzel    W. Basketball

1995 Jason Kaiser        M. Basketball
tie  Karen Hoey          Gymnastics
1994 Kerry Robitaille    Gymnastics
1993 Jennie Szczerbinski Volleyball
1992 Jon Pauole          Swimming
1991 Paul Krake          Hockey
1990 Teri Frankie        Gymnastics
1989 Michael Johnson     M. Basketball
1988 Robin Graul         W. Basketball
1987 Hansi Gnad          M. Basketball
1986 Teri Frankie        Gymnastics
1985 Tiina Kantola       W. Skiing/Cross Country Running


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