PORTLAND, Ore. – She is not only a national champion on the track, but she is also a champion in the classroom.
On the heels of picking up national titles in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Alaska Anchorage’s Caroline Kurgat was recognized as one of the top scholar-athletes in the West on Tuesday, being named to the Google Cloud Division II Academic All-District 8 Women’s Track/Cross Country Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Kurgat, who has a 3.58 cumulative grade point average as a medical lab tech and nursing major, has established herself as one of the top women’s distance runners in the history of Division II. The USTFCCCA Division II Women’s Athlete and Scholar-Athlete of the Year during the cross country season, Kurgat swept all three championship races. She won the GNAC Championships by 56 seconds, the NCAA West Regional by 38 seconds and the Division II championship by 20 seconds.
Her GNAC record of 32:33.24 in the 10,000 meters, run at March’s Stanford Invitational, is the second-best time in Division II history, while her time of 15:41.21 in the 5,000 at the Payton Jordan Invitational is the third-fastest in D-II history.
With selection to the Academic All-District Team, Kurgat will now be considered for selection to the Google Cloud Division II Academic All-America Team, which will be announced June 20.
Nominees to the Academic All-District 8 Team come from the West’s three Division II conferences – the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the California Collegiate Athletic Association and the PacWest Conference. To be nominated, an athlete must be of sophomore standing or higher, be a starter or important reserve player on their team, must be in their second year at the nominating school and have a cumulative GPA or 3.30 or higher.