NEW ORLEANS, La. – Alaska Anchorage senior All-American Caroline Kurgat added to her impressive 2017 resume after being named the West Region Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USFTCCCA), as voted on by member Division II coaches, Wednesday.

Kurgat, from Eldoret, Kenya, becomes the 11th such honoree in school history, joining Ruth Keino (2011), Susan Tanui (2012, 2013) and Joyce Chelimo (2015) from the women’s program.

The senior has posted three victories this season. Kurgat most recently earned a 38-second victory at the West Region Championships in 20 minutes, 26.1 seconds, Saturday, Nov. 4. She also earned her second Great Northwest Athletic Conference title with a 56-second win in 20:49.2, Oct. 21, and won at the Lewis Conference Crossover on Oct. 7 in 21:18.9 by 12 seconds.    

Kurgat has been recognized as the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week three times this season, was named the GNAC Runner of the Year, and earned GNAC Runner of the Week twice as well.

David Ribich of Western Oregon was named West Athlete of the Year on the men’s side, following victories at the West Region and GNAC Championships.

No. 4 Alaska Anchorage and senior All-American Edwin Kangogo will compete at the Div. II NCAA Cross Country Championships, Saturday, Nov. 18 in Evansville, Ind. 

UAA West Region Athletes of the Year
2017 – Caroline Kurgat
2015 – Joyce Chelimo, Henry Cheseto
2014 – Henry Cheseto
2013 – Susan Tanui
2012 – Micah Chelimo, Susan Tanui
2011 – Micah Chelimo, Ruith Keino
2010 – Marko Cheseto
2009 – Marko Cheseto  

2017 UAA Awards
Caroline Kurgat
– West Region Athlete of the Year
– 3-time USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week (Sept. 5, Oct. 9, Oct. 23)
– All-West Region
– GNAC Runner of the Year
– 2-time GNAC Runner of the Week (Aug. 28 – Sept. 3, Oct. 2-8)
– All-GNAC

Mariah Burroughs
– All-West Region

Emmah Chelimo
– All-West Region
– GNAC Newcomer of the Year
– All-GNAC

Kimberly Coscia
– All-GNAC

Zennah Jepchumba
– All-West Region
– All-GNAC

Edwin Kangogo
– All-GNAC

Felix Kemboi
– GNAC Freshman of the Year
– GNAC Runner of the Week (Sept. 4 – Sept. 10)
– All-GNAC

Danielle McCormick
– All-West Region
– All-GNAC

Jorge Sanchez
– GNAC Newcomer of the Year