NEW ORLEANS - Alaska Anchorage junior Micah Chelimo was named the 2012 NCAA Div. II West Region Male Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Thursday.

Sixteen male student-athletes earned awards as a track or field Athlete of the Year, while 16 USTFCCCA members earned plaudits as a coach or assistant coach of a men's team.

Chelimo, from Kapkoi, Kenya, ranks third in NCAA Div. II in both the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000 meters, with top times of 8:45.63 and 13:53.51, respectively. Chelimo recently earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Athlete of the Meet honors after winning the 1500 meters and 5,000 meters and finishing second in the steeplechase.

Chelimo becomes just the third UAA athlete to receive the distinction, joining Alfred Kangogo (2011) and David Registe (2009). Head coach Michael Friess and assistant coach T.J. Garlatz have also been honored by the USTFCCCA.

Chelimo and nine other Seawolves will compete at the 2012 NCAA Div. II Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 24-26 in Pueblo, Colo.