WHAT: Division II Conference Crossover Cross Country Invitational
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7 a.m. ADT (women) and 7:45 a.m. ADT (men)
WHERE: Romeoville, Ill. - Hosted by Lewis Univ. at Lewis Cross Country Course
DISTANCE: 6K for women, 8K for men
RESULTS: Posted to GoSeawolves.com following the meet
ON TAP: The No. 13 Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s cross country programs compete at the 3rd annual Division II Conference Crossover Cross Country Invitational in Romeoville, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 7 ... the teams return to action after nearly a month off since they last competed at the Ash Creek Invitational.
MEET INFO AND WEATHER REPORT: The meet is a product of legislative changes in Division II cross country for NCAA qualifying, which takes into account how programs perform against teams outside their region ... 32 programs will compete in both the men’s and women’s NCAA Championships on Nov. 18 ... 24 automatic bids will be awarded to the top three teams at each of the eight region championships, for each gender ... the remaining eight teams will be determined by performance throughout the season, with weight given to the Conference Crossover ... the course is relatively flat with a 10-meter path and will cover two loops ... race weather is expected to be in the upper 50s, cloudy with a slight chance of rain and produce 15 mph winds, according to The Weather Channel’s online forecast on Monday.
FRESHMAN KEMBOI WINS, SEAWOLVES SECOND AT ASH CREEK INVITE: Alaska Anchorage freshman Felix Kemboi raced to victory in just his second collegiate race ever at the Ash Creek Invitational, while both strategically-minded men’s and women’s cross country teams finished runner-up to Simon Fraser, Friday, Sept. 8 in Monmouth, Ore. ... Kemboi, from Eldoret, Kenya, won the men’s competition covering 6.2 kilometers in 18 minutes, 42.8 seconds ... senior two-time All-American Edwin Kangogo finished third, with a time of 18:56.6 for the No. 5 nationally-ranked men ... junior Jorge Sanchez was the third Seawolf to cross the line at 19:20.2 (12th) ... sophomore Kaleb Korta of Galena (18th, 19:28.6) and senior Justin Carrancho (19th, 19:31.0) finished in the top 20 of 109 finishers to round out UAA’s scoring ... Simon Fraser took the men’s meet title with 36 points, while the strategic-minded Seawolves tallied 53 points for second place ... in the women’s competition, No. 14 Simon Fraser swept the top five spots for a perfect score (15 pts) ... the Clan were led by Julia Howley’s 4.6K time of 16:24.6 ... No. 7 UAA finished behind with 45 points, but well ahead of third-place Linfield (117 pts) ... junior Zennah Jepchumba (6th, 16:53.8), senior Mariah Burroughs (8th, 16:55.3) and junior Kimberly Coscia (9th, 16:55.9) each cracked the top 10 for Alaska Anchorage ... sophomores Emmah Chelimo (11th, 16:59.0) and Jordyn Block of Palmer (15th, 17:16.1) also scored for the Green & Gold ... USTFCCCA Division II Women’s Athlete of the Week and two-time All-America senior Caroline Kurgat did not compete.
SEAWOLVES PLACE WELL AGAINST D-I FOES IN SEASON OPENER: The Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s cross country teams competed as the lone Division II team at the University of San Francisco Invitational, with the No. 7 women’s team finishing third and the No. 5 men’s team claiming fourth at Golden Gate Park on Sat., Sept. 2 ... senior Caroline Kurgat and freshman Felix Kemboi were the top Seawolf finishers in their respective races, each placing fifth in 90-degree temperatures ... the University of San Francisco women, who entered No. 10 in the Division I preseason rankings, won with 18 points ... San Jose State finished second (56 pts) ahead of UAA (3rd, 82 pts), California (4th, 92 pts) and Santa Clara (5th, 115 pts) ... Kurgat – a two-time cross country All American – ran a 6K time of 21:39.28 seconds for fifth place ... USF claimed the top four spots with Weronika Pyzik grabbing the individual victory in 21:31.67 ... sophomore Emmah Chelimo, who finished her first race as a Seawolf after redshirting in 2016, placed 18th in 23:16.10 ... junior Kimberly Coscia cracked the top 20 of 50 finishers in 23:20.13 ... junior Zennah Jepchumba (26th, 23:44.4) and senior Mariah Burroughs of Wasilla (27th, 23:47.7) completed the scoring for UAA ... the USF men’s team also won on Saturday with 29 points ... Santa Clara (42 pts), California (84 pts), UAA (103 pts) and San Jose State (116 pts) rounded out the top five teams ... San Francisco’s Aziz Mohamed bested a field of 80 runners in the men’s field with an 8K time of 25:21.0 ... UAA freshman Felix Kemboi earned fifth place in 25:46.5 ... Jorge Sanchez, a Hartnell College transfer, was UAA’s second fastest runner at 27:03.6 ... All-American senior Edwin Kangogo (30th, 27:12.3), sophomore Kaleb Korta (32nd, 27:14.3) and senior Nathan Kipchumba (34th, 27:21.8) completed UAA’s scoring.
KURGAT NAMED NATIONAL AND GNAC ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: 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, Sept. 5 following her performance at the University of San Francisco Invitational ... 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) ... she 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.
FRESHMAN FELIX KEMBOI NAMED GNAC RUNNER OF THE WEEK: Alaska Anchorage freshman Felix Kemboi was named the GNAC Athlete of the Week for men’s cross country on Monday, Sept. 11, following his victory at the Ash Creek Invitational in Monmouth, Ore. ... Kemboi, of Eldoret, Kenya, joined senior All-American Car- oline Kurgat as GNAC Athlete of the Week recipients this season ... Kemboi became the GNAC Athlete of the Week for the first time in only his second collegiate race ... he led a field of 109 nishers with a 6.2-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 42.8 seconds, and helped UAA finish second out of 13 teams ... UAA’s running programs have had at least two Athlete of the Week winners the last 14 campaigns.
POLL POSITION: The Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s cross country programs each swept the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships for the second consecutive year in 2016, and coaches tabbed both teams to continue their impressive streaks as preseason favorites ... the men’s team – winners of the last seven conference titles who placed seven runners in the top 20 at the 2016 conference meet – received eight first-place votes and 108 total points ... the women’s program earned nine first-place votes and 107 total votes edging 2016 conference runner-up Simon Fraser (2nd, 102 pts), who garnered the final two first-place votes ... UAA has won seven of the last eight conference titles, including the last two ... the UAA men were picked No. 5 nationally in the preseason rankings, while the women were tabbed No. 7 ... both programs were second in the West Region preseason rankings as well.