ANCHORAGE – Track & field All-American Caroline Kurgat repeated as the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Bill McKay Athlete of the Year after being named this year’s recipient.
The 35th annual award was presented at the athletic department’s all-sport banquet at Lucy Cuddy Hall on the UAA campus. Kurgat becomes just the fourth Seawolf to earn the award twice, joining Teri Frankie (gymnastics 1986 & 1990), Tobias Schwoerer (cross country/skiing, 2002 &2003) and Micah Chelimo (cross country/track & track field, 2013 & 2014).
Kurgat won a pair of national championships at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina. She won the 10,000 title by 36 seconds and two days later won the 5,000 by more than 11 seconds.
Her success continued into the 2019 indoor season, when she set the all-time NCAA Div. II records in the 3,000 and 5,000 at 9:07.05 and 15:28.46, respectively. Kurgat won her fourth national title – and her first in indoor track – in the 5,000 by setting a new championship meet record time of 16:06.37. Less than 30 minutes later, she anchored the distance medley relay to a runner-up finish in 11:26.00. The following day she ran another championship record of 9:15.45 to win the 3,000.
Kurgat earned the Collegiate Women’s Sports Honda Award, Google Cloud Academic All-American, USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Pride of Alaska Award for outstanding athletic achievement from the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
Kurgat has a 3.47 cumulative GPA in nursing and medical laboratory science.
Along with Kurgat, the 2018-19 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year nominees were Chris Brake (men’s outdoor track & field), Tyler Brimhall (men’s basketball), Emmah Chelimo (women’s cross country), Sophia Hyderally (gymnastics), Chrisalyn Johnson (volleyball), Drew Johnson (men’s indoor track & field), Wesley Kirui (men’s cross country), Nils Rygaard (hockey), Liam Wallace (men’s skiing), Hannah Wandersee (women’s basketball) and Casey Wright (women’s skiing).
The award is voted upon by a committee comprised of UAA Athletics staff members, local media, and Benton Bay representatives.
In addition to the MacKay award, the department also handed out its most prestigious internal academic honor Friday, with senior women’s Nordic skier Casey Wright , junior women’s Nordic skier Michaela Keller-Miller and senior women’s track & field athlete Yvonne Jeschke sharing the 2018-19 Dresser Cup, all with 4.00 overall GPAs. A health science major from Melbourne, Australia, Wright shared the award for the second straight season.
The inaugural Alaska Born and Raised Award, presented by GCI, went to Kodiak native Hannah Wandersee, who helped the Seawolf women’s basketball team to a 30-3 record and earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors. The new award goes to a graduating senior who made outstanding athletic contributions to his or her team. Candidates must have lived in Alaska more than half of their lives and have graduated from an Alaska high school.
Team MVPs and other internal squad awards were also handed out at Friday’s banquet.
Bill MacKay Athletes of the Year
Year Winner Sport
2019 Caroline Kurgat Women’s Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field
2018 Caroline Kurgat Women’s Cross Country
2017 Morgan Hooe Volleyball
2016 Megan Mullings Women’s Basketball
2015 Cody Thomas Men’s Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field
2014 Micah Chelimo Men’s Cross Country/Indoor Track & Field/Outdoor T&F
2013 Micah Chelimo Men’s Cross Country/Indoor Track & Field/Outdoor T&F
2012 Taylor Rohde Men’s Basketball
2011 Ruth Keino Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field
2010 Calli Scott Volleyball
2009 David Registe Men’s Track & Field
2008 Luke Cooper Men’s Basketball
2007 Rebecca Kielpinski Women’s Basketball
2006 Kemmy Burgess Men’s Basketball
2005 Mandy Kaempf Women’s Skiing/Cross Country
2004 Peter Bullock Men’s Basketball
2003 Tobias Schwoerer Men’s Skiing/Cross Country
2002 Tobias Schwoerer Men’s Skiing/Cross Country
2001 Ed Kirk Men’s Basketball
2000 Edda Mutter Women’s Skiing
1999 Jim Hajdukovich Men’s Basketball
1998 Zuzana Razusova Women’s Skiing
1997 Frode Lillefjell Men’s Skiing/Cross Country
and Elena Tkacheva Gymnastics
1996 Allegra Stoetzel Women’s Basketball
1995 Jason Kaiser Men’s Basketball
and Karen Hoey Gymnastics
1994 Kerry Robitaille Gymnastics
1993 Jen Szczerbinski Volleyball
1992 Jon Pauole Swimming
1991 Paul Krake Hockey
1990 Teri Frankie Gymnastics
1989 Michael Johnson Men’s Basketball
1988 Robin Graul Women’s Basketball
1987 Hansi Gnad Men’s Basketball
1986 Teri Frankie Gymnastics
1985 Tiina Kantola Women’s Skiing/Cross Country
Dresser Cup Award Winners
Year Winner, Sport
2019 Michaela Keller-Miller, WSKI
2018 Olivier Mantha, HKY
2016 Marie-Sophie Boggasch &
Simone Penker, GYM
2015 Anna Berecz, WSKI
2014 Teancum Stafford, MBB
2013 Ida Bjerka, WSKI
2012 Jaime Bronga, WSKI
2011 Jaime Bronga, WSKI
2010 Max Treinen, MSKI
2009 Raphael Wunderle, MSKI
2008 Heather McIntyre, WTF &
Raphael Wunderle, MSKI
2007 Mandy Kaempf, WTF
2006 Stacy Edwards, WXC
2005 Stacy Edwards, WTF
2004 Stacy Edwards, WXC/WTF
2003 Tobias Schwoerer, MSKI/MXC
2002 Tiffany Massey, VB
2001 Jason Feeken, MSKI &
Stephanie Johnson, WBB
2000 Jana Jagercikova, WSKI
1999 Morten Kjerland, MSKI
1998 Steve Carroll, MXC
1997 Elena Tkacheva, GYM
1996 John Smith, MXC
1995 Jens Beck, SWIM
1994 Wendi Jobe, WBB
1993 Tommy Rutledge, MXC
1992 Danicia Thomas, VB
1991 Greta Fadness, WBB
1990 Carroll Pope, MXC
1989 Carroll Pope, MXC
1988 John Davis, MXC
1987 Kristena Wyatt, WSKI
1986 Chriss Homan, HKY
1985 Tiina Kantola, WSKI/WXC