FULLERTON, Calif. – The Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s track & field teams successfully opened the 2012 slate with eight NCAA Div. II provisionally qualifying times and three broken schools records at the Ben Brown Track & Field Invitational on Saturday.
Combined, the Seawolves posted 11 top-five finishes on the Titan Track Complex. UAA was led by junior Micah Chelimo in the men’s 5,000 meters. Chelimo, from Kapkoi, Kenya, won the race with a personal-best time of 14 minutes, 8.91 seconds. Chelimo easily qualified provisionally in the race, bypassing the needed time of 14:35.
UAA received 2-3-4-place finishes by a trio of Seawolves in the women’s 5,000 meters, qualifying each individual provisionally. Junior Ruth Keino led the pack with a runner-up performance at16:56.83, while rookie Susan Tanui made her track & field debut at 17:05.10, edging sophomore Ivy O’Guinn (17:05.56) at the finish line.
Qualifying provisionally in the men’s and women’s 400-meter hurdles were senior Shaun Ward and sophomore Haleigh Lloyd. Ward, a local of Eagle River, was clocked at 53.27 for fifth, while Lloyd (Ladysmith, B.C.) was second at 1:01.51.
Winning the men’s javelin and setting a new school record was freshman Cody Parker. Parker from Comox, B.C., set the UAA record with a toss of 211 feet, 1 inch, while qualifying provisionally for the NCAAs. Parker, who beat Casey Robinson’s record of 175-7 from 2010, need to produce a toss of 213-4 for an automatic berth.
Also setting UAA records were seniors Hallidie Wilt and Micah Johnson in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and men's pole vault, respectively. Wilt, a local of Unalaska, beat her previous UAA record of 10:48.90, set on April 15, 2010, with a winning time of 10:42.9 – a NCAA provisional time.
Johnson, a Seawolf newcomer from Baker City, Ore., leapt to 13 feet, 6.5 inches in the men’s pole vault, taking down senior Wyatt Morgan’s record of 13-3.5.
The Seawolves will head to Northridge, Calif., next weekend for the Northridge Spring Break Multi on March 15-16 and the Northridge Invite on March 17. UAA will also compete at the Occidental Distance Carnival on March 16 in Eagle Rock, Calif.