CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Caroline Kurgat of the University of Alaska Anchorage won her third career national title after winning the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Div. II Outdoor Track and Field National Championships Saturday.
Kurgat becomes the 11th woman in NCAA Div. II to win the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in the same year. She won her first career national title in cross country in 2017.
Kurgat ran with the pack for the opening 1,800 meters before taking the lead. She ran her fastest two laps of the meet (74 seconds each) to open a five-second gap on second. Her lead continued to grow as she ran laps nearly five seconds faster than any other runner in the field. She would finish in 16:22.62, over 11 seconds ahead of second place finisher Alicja Konieczek of Western State, who won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in record time the day before.
Danielle McCormick earned her second All-American honor with a fourth place finish in the 800. McCormick, the indoor national champion in the 800, was just off her school record with a time of 2:06.34.
The race started at a blistering pace with the leaders covering the first 400 meters in under a minute. The pace continued through the final 400 meters. McCormick found herself near the back of the pack with 200 meters remaining but closed on the field to place fourth.
Alaska Anchorage finished tied for eighth in the team standings with 25 points. The eighth place finish was the highest by the UAA women since it placed seventh in 2013.