Action packed week for UAA’s outdoor track and field team
It was an event-filled week for the UAA outdoor track and field team, as several athletes parted ways to compete in the Stanford Invitational, Texas Relays, and the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.
Headlining the Stanford Invitational for the Seawolves was senior Joyce Chelimo, the runner-up of the women’s indoor 5,000 meter at nationals. At the invitational, Chelimo broke the Great Northwest Athletic Conference record in the 10,000 meter event with a time of 33:14.41. Her swift pace is the fastest in Division II this season and fifth all-time.
Chelimo was not the only Seawolf who shined at the meet. Sophomore Caroline Kurgat was right behind Chelimo in the 10K, finishing with the second best time in Div. II so far this year.
On the men’s side of the Invitational, Henry Cheseto solidified a spot in the NCAA Championships by posting a personal-best time of 29:36 in the 10K.
At the 2016 Nike Clyde Texas Relays, Cody Thomas totaled a score of 7,079 in the decathlon, good for sixth place overall. Thomas faced several prestigious Div. I athletes at the meet. Although he was bothered by a knee injury, Thomas was the runner-up in the 100-meter dash, as well as in the 400 meters. He also placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles, while taking fourth in the long jump.
“It [Thomas’ knee] bugs me a lot. The high jump didn’t go quite as well as possible,” said Thomas.
The New Zealander was honored with his second consecutive GNAC Male Athlete of the Year award for the indoor season.
“I didn’t think I had a shot…Apparently, I did enough at nationals to show that I still had a good year despite the hiccups,” said Thomas.
Also bringing home hardware for the Seawolves was Chelimo and head coach Michael Friess. Chelimo was named the GNAC Female Athlete of the Year and Friess the GNAC Coach of the Year.
Joining Thomas at the Texas Relays was All-American Cody Parker. Parker excelled in the javelin, registering a throw of 234-7. Parker, the 2013 national champion at this event, now sits atop the rankings in Div. II for furthest throw this season.
San Francisco State Distance Carnival
The Seawolves also found success at the SFSU Distance Carnival, notching two meet records at the ninth annual event. Jamie Ashcroft, the UAA record holder for the 100 and 200 meters, took first place in both of those events. She set a meet record in the 200, finishing with a time of 24.39. Teammate Mary-Kathleen Cross was right behind her as the runner-up. Seawolf senior Rosie Hewitt took home the crown in the 100-meter hurdles, while the men’s 4×400 team sailed to victory as well.
“Everyone was really tired after a long day in the California heat and multiple races but we still had a job to do, so all of the guys stepped up and ran a good race with no questions and full effort,” said Nicholas Taylor, a member of the men’s 4×400 team.
The Seawolves had a few runner-up finishes as well. Junior Michael Mendenhall took second in the one mile run, posting a time of 4:13.1, and the men’s 4×100 team finished a close second. As for sophomore Nathan Kipchumba, he took first in the 800 meter and broke his own UAA record with a time of 1:49.67. Tamara Perez won the women’s 800, adding another victory to the Seawolves’ resume. By finishing with a time of 29:46.48, sophomore Edwin Kangogo took first place in the men’s 800 meters.
The Seawolves outdoor track and field team will have a week off, and then hope to carry their momentum into the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 15 and the Beach Invitational the following day.