NEW ORLEANS, La. – Alaska Anchorage two-time cross country All-America senior Caroline Kurgat earned major awards from both the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference on Tuesday, following her performance at the University of San Francisco Invitational over the weekend.
Kurgat, from Eldoret, Kenya, was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week and GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week following a fifth-place finish and 6K time of 21 minutes, 39.3 seconds on Saturday in 90-degree temperatures.
She helped the No. 7 D-II UAA women’s cross country team finish third out of five teams – the other four were Division I teams. Four University of San Francisco runners bettered Kurgat – a team that finished sixth at Division I nationals in 2016. Kurgat’s time of 21:39.3 was only eight seconds behind the winner (Weronika Pyzik, 21:31.7).
Kurgat joins Henry Cheseto (2014) as the only two Seawolves to be named an USTFCCA National Athlete of the Week in program history. Kurgat was also named GNAC Athlete of the Week twice last season (Sept. 12-18, Oct. 3-9).
The Seawolves have now had a GNAC Athlete of the Week in cross country the past 14 seasons – 41 total nominations – dating back to 2004.
The No. 5 men’s and No. 7 women’s cross country teams return to action, Friday, Sept. 8 at the Ash Creek Invitational in Monmouth, Ore. with races beginning at 4 p.m. ADT.