Running down UAA’s cross-country team’s monster start
For the Seawolf cross country team’s, winning is a tradition. Like clockwork, both squads have jumped off to another 2-0 start. It’s the fourth straight time the runners have opened the season in that fashion. And they rarely slow down the pace.
This is how the first quarter of the year has transpired:
Micah Chelimo — one of the most decorated distance runners to ever step on campus — isn’t walking back through that door. And it doesn’t appear to change anyone’s perception of the green and gold crew.
The Great Northwest Athletic Conference 2013 preseason coaches’ poll places the men and women as unanimous picks to repeat as champions. If the coaches are right, this will be the fourth GNAC title in a row for the men and the fifth for the women.
The first meet came against BYU-Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Senior Susan Tanui and junior Dylan Anthony nabbed individual wins, leading their respective groups to 5K victories.
The women were flawless. Sophomore Joyce Kipchumba, junior Bryn Haebe, and seniors Ivy O’Guinn and Christi Schmitz came across the line in succession after Tanui.
The men left a small margin open for improvement. Junior Isaac Kangogo and freshman Victor Samoei rounded out the podium positions, while freshman Michael Mendenhall was the last Seawolf to crack the top-five.
Not much changed in the team’s second event — just another dominant performance in Oahu. This time they shredded the Chaminade Invitational.
The women sustained their route to a perfect season. Yet again, Tanui was the head of the snake, earning her second individual win in a row.
Anthony helped complete the mirror image of their first meet by capturing his second individual win in a row, as well. The men’s quest for perfection is still on.
The first — take a deep breath — U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II Cross Country National Coaches Poll dropped, and both teams landed in the top 10.
The women came in strong at five, and the men’s team ranked nine and was the only GNAC representative in the top 25.
UAA is taking its undefeated record to Salem, Ore., for the Willamette Invitational. The last time they ran in Salem, the men finished third and the women took second. That was in 2010 — the same year they swept all but two meets.