Chelimo, Tanui honored by USTFCCCA
NEW ORLEANS, Wash. - Alaska Anchorage senior Micah Chelimo and junior Susan Tanui were named the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association West Region Athletes of the Year on Wednesday. For the fourth straight year UAA was the recipient of the West Region Male Athlete of the Year honor, after Chelimo, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion from Kapkoi, Kenya, earned his second straight accolade by winning the NCAA Div. II West Region Championships on Nov. 3. Former UAA All-American Marko Cheseto garnered the honor in 2010 and 2009. A local of Eldoret, Kenya, Tanui became the second UAA woman to be named the West Region Female Athlete of the Year, after she cruised to victory at the West Region championships last Saturday. Tanui, who also won the GNAC title in October, followed former All-American Ruth Keino, who took the honor in 2011. The Seawolves, ranked No. 6 in the women’s poll and No. 7 in the men’s, are idle this weekend as they prepare for the NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo.
UAA’s Pickering retiring from hockey
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Anchorage junior Andrew Pickering (Vancouver, B.C.) has retired from hockey due to health concerns, announced by head bench boss Dave Shyiak on Tuesday.
“Andrew has sustained two concussions in the last two months and has decided to concentrate on his health and studies,” said Shyiak. “It is unfortunate for Andrew and the Seawolf program as he has worked hard in the classroom and to get his body ready for this season.”
A Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team honoree and a member of the WCHA Scholar-Athlete Team a year ago, Pickering dressed in nine games during his rookie campaign before seeing ice time in six games in 2011-12.
“We will continue to assist him in any way possible as he moves forward,” said Shyiak.
The Seawolves, now with 25 active players on their roster, lost their home opener on Saturday at Sullivan Areana behind four power-play goals by the No. 2-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers - two in the first and two in the second – who managed to find the back of the net on each. The first three man-advantage strikes were tallied by the same power-play unit – Nick Bjugstad, Zach Budish, Erik Haula, Kyle Rau and Nate Schmidt – with Rau netting two and Bjugstad furnishing one. Minnesota’s fourth goal was registered by Ben Marshall when UAA’s Matt Bailey was ejected from the game for checking from behind and a game misconduct. The Seawolves, who went on their first power-play opportunity in the opening minutes of the third, were 0-2 on the man advantage, while Minnesota was 4-for-5. The Gophers out shot the Seawolves, 31-14, including a 8-2 edge in the opening frame. Junior netminder Chris Kamal made 27 stops in net, while freshman Adam Wilcox turned aside 14. The Seawolves and Golden Gophers will rematch tonight at 7:07 p.m. AST.
UAA gives D-I Troy scare before losing 61-57
TROY, Ala. – Alaska Anchorage veterans Kyle Fossman and Abebe Demissie combined for 27 points, but it wasn’t quite enough to pull the upset as Troy earned a 61-57 exhibition victory over the Seawolves last week. The Division I Trojans, playing their first game in the brand-new Troy Arena, were led by a game-high 19 points and four assists from guard Hunter Williams, plus 12 points, 10 rebounds and four steals from forward Emil Jones. The Seawolves – coming off consecutive NCAA Div. II Tournament appearances – forged a 34-23 lead late in the first half when senior center Liam Gibcus scored back-to-back layups, converting a traditional three-point play at the 2:21 mark.
UAA would not score again in the half though, as the Trojans cut it to 34-29 at the break. The hosts from the Sun Belt Conference continued their run with the first 10 points of the second half before junior transfer Mike MacKelvie connected on a three-pointer to make it 39-37 with 16:08 left. The Seawolves stayed within striking distance until freshman John Erickson put Seawolves up 55-54 with a trey at the 5:56 mark. Freshman point guard Jalen Little made it 57-54 on a layup moments later, but UAA would go cold from there, missing its final six shots. Troy’s Jeff Mullahey gave his team the lead, 59-57, on a layup with 4:15 remaining, and Williams scored the final points at the 2:42 mark. Gibcus, a 6-10 senior center, finished with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting and four rebounds, while sophomore transfer Teancum Stafford had five points and five boards. Six different Seawolves accounted for three points apiece as UAA shot 41 percent from three-point range (11 of 27) and overall (21 of 51).
Fossman, a 6-1 guard from Haines, was nearly perfect, shooting 6 of 8 from the floor and 2 of 2 at the charity stripe, along with four rebounds and three assists. The junior from Haines was the only Seawolf to play more than 21 minutes, logging 34. Meanwhile, Demissie, a 6-6 senior forward, got hot from three-point land where he made 4 of 5. The Seawolves opened the regular season on Friday when they hosted the 18th annual AT&T Jamboree at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, playing Colorado Christian on Friday and Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday. NOTES: Fossman – who averaged 10.8 points per game as a sophomore – will be UAA’s top returning scorer after head coach Rusty Osborne announced earlier Monday that junior guard Travis Thompson will redshirt … Troy has been picked to finish among the top half of the Sun Belt Conference this year, including a 4th-place prediction by Athlon magazine.
UAA’s Thompson to redshirt in 2012-13
ANCHORAGE – Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball head coach Rusty Osborne announced last week that junior Travis Thompson will use his redshirt season in 2012-13. A 6-1, 195-pound guard, Thompson averaged 11.8 points and 3.9 assists a year ago for UAA’s 23-7, NCAA second-round club. The former local prep star from Dimond High also shot 48 percent on three-pointers in 2011-12 as he earned second-team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors.
“We knew this was always a possibility for this year,” said Osborne, whose team starts tonight with an exhibition at Div. I Troy. “Our program benefitted greatly last season when Travis sacrificed his redshirt year to strengthen our team. It is now time for the program to sacrifice for him. He is in a very demanding academic curriculum (civil engineering) and will need five years to graduate. The ability to not travel this season will allow him to get a solid foundation for his last two years. He has high academic goals and we support him in those as well as his athletic goals.”
Thompson was also a GNAC All-Academic Team member in 2011-12 with a 3.35 overall grade-point average.
“We will definitely miss his talent and competitiveness,” Osborne added. “However, we had a good recruiting class and we expect someone to step up and excel in his absence. What we lose this year we gain in the future as we now have two all-conference level players redshirting. He and Brian McGill will definitely challenge us day-in and day-out in practice.”