The nationally ranked Alaska Anchorage cross country teams are looking for record-breaking performances when they head to Joplin, Mo., for the 2012 NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championships, Nov. 17.
The races are hosted by Missouri Southern and will be on their Missouri Southern Cross Country Course. The Men’s 10K starts at 7:30 a.m. AST, and the Women’s 6K at 8:30 a.m. AST (A live web feed of the race will be available at NCAA.com).
The Seawolves have qualified both the men’s and women’s teams to the NCAAs for the fifth straight season, while the men’s squad will make its ninth overall appearance and the women will make their seventh ... the UAA women’s team holds a program-best 5th-place showing from 2009, while the men’s 8th-place finish from 2011 and 2010 are program bests.
Combined, the Seawolves will be sending 9-of-14 student-athletes with NCAA experience, including four who will be making their fourth overall appearance and two competing at the NCAAs for the third time ... making their fourth trips are seniors Micah Chelimo, Alfred Kangogo, Miriam Kipng’eno and Jake Parisien ... earning their third straight appearance to the NCAAs are juniors Susan Bick and Ivy O’Guinn, while junior Susan Tanui and sophomores Dylan Anthony and Isaac Kangogo will be participating for the second time ... making their NCAA debuts are senior Katie Krehlik, sophomore Kevin Rooke and freshmen Dominik Notz, Jaymi Bethea and Sarah Freistone ... of the returners, Chelimo holds the highest finish on the men’s side at No. 15, recorded in 2011, while Kipng’eno has the highest finish for the women’s team at No. 12 (2010).
The UAA men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to be ranked in the top 10 nationally in Week 7 of the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association with the women’s team and men’s squad at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively ... the women’s team sits second in the West Region behind Chico State (No. 5), while the men’s team trails No. 4 Chico State and leads No. 10 Western Washington ... Adams State leads the men’s field, while Augustana (S.D.) tops the women’s chart ... the UAA women have been ranked in the top 10 for 40 weeks straight, while the men’s team has cracked the top 15 for 27 consecutive weeks. See complete poll on page 6.
UAA head coach Michael Friess was voted the GNAC’s Men’s Team and Women’s Team Cross Country Coach of the Year for the third straight year, announced by the league on Nov. 8 ... the honors were the 13th and 14th of his career, after receiving the honor for the seventh time on the women’s side and sixth time on the men’s ... Friess, in his 23rd year with the Seawolves, was also the PacWest Coach of the Year in 1997.
Eight Seawolves were named to the 2012 GNAC Cross Country All-Conference Academic Team, Nov. 8 ... leading the GNAC field with a perfect 4.0 GPA were three student-athletes, including two from UAA – Bryn Haebe (nursing) and Christi Schmitz (nursing) ... seniors Micah Chelimo (mechanical engineering) and Miriam Kipng’eno (nursing & nutrition) were among 10 student-athletes that received the accolade for the third year in a row ... also garnering the award were seniors Alfred Kangogo (nursing & nutrition) and Katie Krehlik (psychology) and sophomores Dylan Anthony (undeclared) and Kevin Rooke (physical education).
Led by individual wins by Chelimo and Tanui, the UAA men’s and women’s teams both successfully qualified for the NCAA Championships with runner-up team finishes at the 2012 NCAA Div. II West Regional Cross Country Championships, Nov. 3 ... in the men’s 10K, the Seawolves finished runner-up to Chico State, 38-46, by placing their entire team in the top 25 for All-Region honors ... the women’s team, which advanced to the NCAAs for the sixth straight season and 10th time overall, were upset by Chico State, 51-56, breaking UAA’s three-year streak ... Chelimo easily cruised to victory with a time of 31:57.35, successfully defending his individual title from a year ago ... Chelimo, who has won eight of his last nine races going back to last season, picked up his fourth career all-region honor. ... in the women’s 6K, which finished at a temperature of 79 degrees, Tanui became UAA’s second Seawolf to win an individual title, doing it in a time of 21:18.50 ... a local of Eldoret, Kenya, Tanui remains undefeated on the season as she claimed her second career all-region award.
Paced by individual wins from Chelimo and Tanui, the UAA men’s and women’s teams swept the 12th annual GNAC Championships for the third straight year on Oct. 20 ... the three-time defending champion and No.5-ranked UAA women’s squad dominated the field, posting a GNAC-record 16 points – just one shy of perfection – with its five scorers in the top six ... Simon Fraser took second with 61 points and Seattle Pacific third with 104 ... the previous league record of 24 points was set by SPU in 2007 ... the men’s team registered a GNAC-record 23 points – besting their own league record of 27, set a year ago ... WWU finished runner-up with 50 points, followed by Montana State Billings with 103 ... the women’s title was their fourth all-time since joining the league in 2001, while the men’s team collected its sixth GNAC title and seventh overall – UAA also won in 1997 when it was in the Pacific West Conference.