'Wolves send program-best 10 to NCAAs
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Alaska Anchorage will be represented by a program-best 10 Seawolves who have qualified for the upcoming 2012 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 24-26 at Pueblo, Colo. The final entry list of NCAA participants was announced Tuesday at NCAA headquarters.
UAA will suit up four men and six women, tying the 2009
season where the Seawolves also qualified 10 individuals. Combined, the 10
Seawolves will compete in 12 events (5 men, 7 women). The Seawolves lead the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, while Western Washington will send five athletes. Combined, the league will have 24 individuals competing.
Qualifying for the fourth straight season is senior Alfred Kangogo in the 1500 meters. Kangogo, from Eldoret, Kenya, will enter the race ranked eighth with a season-best time of 3:46.74. Kangogo has earned All-America honors in the event for two consecutive seasons, finishing third in 2011 and eighth in 2010.
Heading to the NCAAs for the third time are senior Shaun Ward and juniors Micah Chelimo and Ruth Keino. Ward, a 2009 All-American, will compete in the 400-meter hurdles, where he is ranked 12th. A local of Eagle River, Ward broke the GNAC record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.00.
Chelimo, from Kapkoi, Kenya, will be one of two Seawolves competing in two events as he suits up for the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000 meters. A two-time All-American in the steeplechase, Chelimo broke the GNAC record in both the steeplechase (8:45.63) and 5K (13:53.51). Chelimo ranks third in both events.
Competing in the 5,000 meters is Keino, a product of Kapcheno, Kenya. A 2011 All-American in the 10,000 meters, Keino enters the championships with the eighth-fastest time in Div. II at 16:34.28. Keino also had a NCAA automatic time in the 10,000 meters, but will focus on the 5K this time around.
Making their second appearance at Nationals are sophomores Haleigh Lloyd in the 400-meter hurdles and Ivy O'Guinn in the 1500 meters, while senior Hallidie Wilt returns to the NCAA circuit in the steeplechase.
From Soldotna, O'Guinn sits at No. 6 with a time of 4:25.19, while Lloyd, from Ladysmith, B.C., posted a league-record time of 59.62, for a No. 9 ranking. Wilt, from Unalaska, will make her second trip to the NCAAs since qualifying in 2010. A redshirt in 2011, Wilt enters the meet at No. 10 with a career-best time of 10:31.30.
Joining Keino in the 5,000 meters is sophomore newcomer Susan Tanui. Tanui, from Eldoret, Kenya, will make her NCAA debut with a No. 3 ranking in the steeplechase with a GNAC-record time of 10:15.47. Tanui also ranks ninth in the 5K with a time of 16:36.13.
Making his NCAA debut is rookie Cody Parker in the men's javelin. A local of Comox, B.C., Parker furnished a UAA-record toss of 215-4 in April - good for second best in the GNAC record book. Parker brings in a No. 7 ranking into the meet.
Suiting up as UAA's first-ever heptathlete to qualify for the NCAAs is senior Kelsea Johnson. A native of Sitka, Johnson has the 10th-best heptathlon score in Div. II with 4,940 points - a UAA record - registered at the GNAC Multi-Event Championships on April 30-May 1.
The qualifications mark the 11th consecutive season UAA has sent athletes to the NCAA Championships and eighth straight it has qualified multiple athletes.