WHAT: NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Championships
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 4 at 9 a.m. ADT (women) and 10:15 a.m. ADT (men)
WHERE: Monmouth, Ore. - Hosted by Western Oregon Univ. at Ash Creek Preserve
DISTANCE: 6K for women, 10K for men
LIVE RESULTS: http://www.athletictiming.net/Results/ and posted to GoSeawolves.com
LIVE VIDEO: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/wou/
MEET PROGRAM: http://bit.ly/2hxYVPL
ON TAP: The No. 4 Alaska Anchorage women’s and No. 16 men’s cross country programs contend at the NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Championships in Monmouth, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 4 ... the women cover a 6-kilometer course at 9 a.m. ADT, while the men follow with a 10K course at 10:15 a.m. ADT.
QUALITY CONTROL: 32 men’s and women’s teams each advance to the NCAA Championships, with the top three teams from the regional meets automatically advancing (24 total from eight regions) ... eight other teams will be selected on an at-large basis for each gender ... the top two individuals who are not part of a qualifying team will automatically advance to the championship (16 individuals) ... all individuals who finish in the top five at the regional meet and are not part of a qualifying team automatically advance ... the next eight individuals will be selected at-large.
SUPER STREAKS: The men’s and women’s programs have advanced to the NCAA Cross Country Championships nine consecutive seasons, dating back to 2008 ... the men have 13 NCAA appearances and three West Region titles, while the women have 11 NCAA appearances and four West Region crowns.
WEATHER REPORT: Race weather is expected to be in the lower 40s, with light winds, and a slight chance of rain, according to The Weather Channel’s online forecast on Tuesday.
MEN’S CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: No. 4 Chico State (CCAA), No. 6 Cal Baptist (Pac West), No. 13 Western Oregon (GNAC)
CONTENDERS: No. 9 Cal Poly Pomona, No. 16 Alaska Anchorage, No. 22 Simon Fraser
WOMEN’S CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: No. 1 Cal Baptist (Pac West), No. 4 Alaska Anchorage (GNAC), No. 5 Chico State (CCAA)
CONTENDERS: No. 9 Simon Fraser, No. 12 Cal State San Marcos, No. 22 Cal Poly Pomona
CAROLINE KURGAT LEADS UAA TO GNAC TITLE: The No. 8 nationally ranked Alaska Anchorage women’s cross country team claimed its third consecutive Great Northwest Conference title, led by senior All-American Caroline Kurgat’s individual title Oct. 21 at Lake Padden Park in Bellingham, Wash ... the No. 17 men’s squad finished runner-up and were powered by runner-up Edwin Kangogo and third-place GNAC Freshman of the Year Felix Kemboi ... Kurgat cruised to her second consecutive GNAC individual title and earned GNAC Runner of the Year accolades ... she covered the 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 49.42 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of runner-up Mary Charleson of Seattle Pacific (21:45.99) ... all five of UAA’s scorers finished in the top 10 to secure All-GNAC status ... juniors Zennah Jepchumba (4th, 21:53.66) and Danielle McCormick of Soldotna (5th, 22:06.72) each landed in the top 5 ... sophomore Emmah Chelimo was named GNAC Newcomer of the Year with an 8th-place finish of 22:11.26 ... rounding out the top 10 was junior Kimberly Coscia (10th, 22:12.28) ... seniors Mariah Burroughs of Wasilla (12th, 22:17.28) and Tamara Perez (15th, 22:30.22) of Hendaye, France finished closely behind the pack of Seawolves ... UAA bested No. 5 Simon Fraser 28-65 to win its third straight consecutive title and eighth title in the last nine seasons ... on the men’s side, senior All-American Edwin Kangogo and freshman Felix Kemboi led the way with their own All-GNAC performances ... Kangogo (2nd, 25:03.63, 8K) finished behind Western Oregon’s David Ribich (1st, 24:54.82) ... Kemboi was named GNAC Freshman of the Year behind a 3rd-place finish and 8K time of 25:18.59 ... senior Nathan Kipchumba (12th, 25:51.52), junior Jorge Sanchez (23rd, 26:11.93) and senior Justin Carrancho (24th, 26:18.25) each cracked the top 25 for the Green & Gold ... Sanchez became the GNAC Newcomer of the Year as well ... No. 13 Western Oregon edged No. 17 Alaska Anchorage for the team title, 51-64. WOU ended UAA’s impressive streak of seven straight conference crowns.
3-FOR-3 NATIONAL ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Alaska Anchorage senior All-American Caroline Kurgat continued her impressive season by being named the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) National Athlete of the Week for the third time on Oct. 23 ... Kurgat joins select company of three-time winners in a single season, dating back to 2014 ... only Mike Biwott of American International earned the award on three occasions for Division II (2014) .... five other runners have earned the award twice in a season during that span ... Kurgat, of Eldoret, Kenya, garnered National Athlete of the Week following her second consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference individual title ... she covered six kilometers in 20 minutes, 49.42 seconds (5:35 miles), nearly a minute faster than her closest competition ... she was named GNAC Runner of the Year and helped No. 8 Alaska Anchorage win its third straight league title ... the senior was named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week on Sept. 5 after a 5th-place performance against Division I runners at the Univ. of San Francisco Invite and on Oct. 9, following her victory at the Conference Crossover ... all three of her races have resulted in national recognition.
KURGAT WINS CONFERENCE CROSSOVER, TEAM 3RD: Senior two-time All-American Caroline Kurgat raced to victory and propelled the unranked Alaska Anchorage women’s cross country program to an impressive third-place finish at the Division II Conference Crossover in Romeoville, Ill., Saturday, Oct. 7 ... two-time All-America senior Edwin Kangogo and freshman Felix Kemboi both cracked the top 25 in a field of over 350 finishers, helping the No. 13 nationally ranked men’s team finish sixth ... Kurgat, of Eldoret, Kenya, covered the six-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 18.9 seconds, besting Walsh University’s Sarah Berger by over 12 seconds (2nd, 21:31.5) ... also scoring for the Green & Gold were junior Zennah Jepchumba (15th, 22:12.0), sophomore Emmah Chelimo (26th, 22:30.4), junior Danielle McCormick (30th, 22:33.0), and senior Mariah Burroughs (57th, 23:00.0) ... all of UAA’s nine runners finished in the top 150 of 359 finishers ... No. 6 Cal Baptist bested the nationwide 34-team field with 51 points ... No. 1 and defending national champion Grand Valley State finished in second with 66 points ... unranked UAA (3rd, 126 pts), No. 10 Walsh (4th, 188 pts), and No. 5 Hillsdale (5th, 192 pts) rounded out the top five ... with its third-place showing, UAA bested six ranked foes ... in the men’s race, Kangogo, also of Eldoret, Kenya, led UAA in 19th place with an 8K time of 25:29.3 ... freshman Felix Kemboi finished closely behind in 25:31.7 (23rd) ... Academy of Art’s Gatien Airiau won in 24:42.7 ... freshman Nickson Koech recorded a time of 25:48.4, good for 42nd ... junior Jorge Sanchez (75th, 26:12.4) and senior Nathan Kipchumba (78th, 26:14.8) completed the scoring ... ranked programs were featured a top the men’s team standings as well. No. 3 Grand Valley State (1st, 55 pts) bettered No. 9 Cal Baptist (2nd, 121 pts) and No. 6 Southern Indiana (3rd, 150 pts) in the team competition ... unranked Lindenwood (4th, 191 pts), No. 11 host Lewis (205 pts), and No. 13 UAA (6th, 223 pts) rounded out the top six squads.
2016 WEST REGION CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP: Both nationally ranked Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s cross country teams earned the right to compete at the NCAA Div. II Championships for the ninth consecutive time behind six All-West Region performances at Amend Park in Billings, Mont. ... Chico State took home both the men’s and women’s team titles ... the Wildcat’s William Reyes ran to victory with a 10K time of 29 minutes, 45.16 seconds in the men’s competition ... Cal State San Bernardino’s Laura Aceves advanced to the national meet following a 6K win of her own, in 20:55.95 ... the No. 6 Seawolf men – who earned the West Region title over Chico State in 2015 - finished runner-up to No. 4 Wildcats, 45-81 ... Reyes broke away from the lead group approximately 18 minutes into the race and held his surge to the end ... Reyes led teammates Kyle Medina (30:04.96) and Falco Digiallonardo (30:05.35) for a 1-3 Wildcat finish ... All-American Edwin Kangogo – winner at the 2016 GNAC Championships – piloted four Seawolves who cracked the top 25, each securing spots on the All-West Region team ... Kangogo crossed the line as the fastest Seawolf behind the Chico State trio in fourth (30:07.58) ... senior Michel Ramirez placed inside the top 10 in eighth place (30:26.12) ... two-time West Region Athlete of the Year Henry Cheseto followed for UAA in 11th (30:32.92) ... wrapping up the race with All-West Region accolades was senior Victor Samoei, crossing the inflatable finish chute in 24th position (30:57.21) ... senior Michael Mendenhall completed the scoring for the Green & Gold (34th, 31:12.57), just ahead of teammate Justin Carrancho (36th, 31:14.65) ... Nathan Kipchumba also competed for UAA, ending the day in 52nd (31:44.12) out of 168 finishers ... in the women’s competition, nationally ranked No. 7 Chico State edged No. 16 and GNAC runner-up Simon Fraser, 70-103 ... the No. 11 Seawolves were close behind in third with 111 points ... Cal State San Bernardino’s Aceves and Alaska Anchorage’s Caroline Kurgat sprinted within meters of one another down the home stretch ... Aceves (20:55.95) – the CCAA champion – found a little extra energy, edging Kurgat (20:59.01) – the GNAC champion – by three seconds ... both Aceves and Kurgat broke the course record of 21 minutes, 6.59 seconds, set in 2014 by Western Washington’s Katelyn Steen ... the 2015 West Region Athlete of the Year Joyce Chelimo finished in seventh (21:22.87) ... Kurgat and Chelimo each made the All-West Region team ... UAA’s other scorers each finished in the top 40 ... sophomore Zennah Jepchumba (29th, 22:13.48), Soldotna native Danielle McCormick (35th, 22:26.47), and junior Tamara Perez (38th, 22:28.53) rounded out the final score ... Wasilla’s Mariah Burroughs (65th, 22:54.39) and Anchorage’s Kaitlyn Maker (72nd, 23:01.20) also competed for the Green & Gold amongst the 204 finishers.