Category: Track & Field
This academic year will likely encompass the final collegiate seasons of skiing and indoor track and field in the state of Alaska, as a result of Strategic Pathways.
University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen released that the university system submitted a waiver request to the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Oct. 19 for the discontinuation of men’s and women’s Nordic and alpine skiing at UAA and UAF, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field at UAA.
Per NCAA rules, schools in Division II must be competing in a minimum of 10 sports. The request Johnsen and UA has submitted is to cut the number of sports at UAA from 13 to nine and from 10 to eight at UAF.
According to UAA Athletic Director Keith Hackett, this decision will slice off 42 percent of the athletic budget cuts required, contributing around $1.95 million toward the budget reduction.
In an email message to the university system on Oct. 27, Johnsen stressed that this decision has not been an easy one.
“I love everything about the competitive nature of sports, I respect the men and women who compete as a Nanook or a Seawolf,” Johnsen said. “I can promise that we will do everything we can to ease the transition we all will face.”
Approximately 95 athletes overall, not including the coaching and support stats, will be impacted by the waver request, if it is accepted by the NCAA, who will meet in November to determine the outcome of the request. If accepted, the proposal will then move to the Board of Regents for final approval.
The Seawolves men’s squad took home the outdoor Great Northwest Athletic Conference trophy on May 14, snapping Western Washington’s five-year reign. The two-day meet at Western Oregon University’s McArthur field concluded with UAA conquering four individual titles and outscoring second-place WWU 163.5-128 for their first outdoor GNAC title. Leading the No. 16 nationally ranked Seawolves…
The UAA’s track and field team kicked off the weekend at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, California, and the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University.
58th annual Mt. San Antonio College Relays
On Thursday, April 14, senior Victor Samoei finished the 10,000 meter event with a time of 30 minutes, 34.11 seconds, while his teammate Michel Ramirez was unable to finish the race. The following day, Joyce Chelimo once again stole the show in her event. She posted a time of 15:59.55 in the 5,000-meter, the fastest in Division II this year, crushing the previous best by over 20 seconds. Her time solidified her spot in the NCAA championships in late May, and places her third on the all-time list in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Chelimo’s incredible time is now the fastest in UAA’s history for the women’s 5K.
Other Seawolves rode the wave set by Chelimo, as the men’s 4×400-meter relay team broke the GNAC record for fastest time, notching a 3:10.60 finish. The four-member team consisted of Liam Lindsay, Nicholas Taylor, Adam Commandeur and Cody Thomas as the anchor.
“All four of us had probably one of the best races of our lives. We had two Div. I teams ahead of us that really pushed us to break that record,” Commandeur said.
Their time is currently the sixth fastest in Div. II this season.
“We knew something good was going to happen, and it all just clicked,” Taylor said. “Everyone just ran well and hard with good passes. Nothing went wrong and everything went right.”
In long distance, UAA had three 1,500-meter runners see success. Sophomore Tamara Perez crossed the finish line at 4:29.76, while Jessica Pahkala was right behind her at 4:30.60. On the men’s side, Kenyan Nathan Kipchumba cruised to a 3:51.19 time in the same event.
“On Friday, I had a personal record in the 1,500, so it was a really good weekend,” said Kipchumba.
Bryan Clay Invitational
A handful of Seawolves competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as well as the 5,000-meter over the two-day invite. Edwin Kangogo finished the 5K with a career best time of 14:29.99.
“As a 10,000-meter guy, it was difficult to change the pace in the 5K,” Kangogo said, but it clearly did not affect him too much.
For the women, sophomore Mariah Burroughs finished the steeplechase with a time of 11:31.18, while Zennah Jepchumba posted a time of 17:29.08 in the 5K, her season-best and good for fourth in “Heat 3.”
When it was all said and done, the Seawolves broke a GNAC record, two school records, one automatic qualifying time for the NCAA championships, and 10 provisional times, meaning for the time being, they have qualified for the national championships.
The Seawolves track and field team will compete at the Triton Invitational in San Diego California on Friday, April 22.
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.
The Seawolves Indoor Track and Field set a team record by sending 14 individuals to the NCAA Championships over the weekend of March 11-12. The athletes competed in a total of 13 races and two relays in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Since the 2012-13 season, when UAA first fielded an indoor Track and Field squad, the Seawolves have qualified multiple athletes for nationals.
Heading into the meet, the UAA’s women’s team was ranked seventh in the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association national poll, while the men’s team sat at No. 18.
On opening day of competition, the Seawolves assembled seven All-America honors [top-10 finishes]. An impressive performance by senior Joyce Chelimo earned her runner-up in the women’s 5,000 meter, coming in just over a second behind Amanda Farrough of Lewis Univiersity.
“I was trying to chase her down and gain speed to win,” Chelimo said. “But I’m glad I came in second, I tried really hard.”
Chelimo, from Kapsowar, Kenya, crossed the finish line at 16:10.32, a UAA and conference record, as well as the fourth best time in Division II history.
The Seawolves also got a strong showing on the men’s side of the 5-kilometer. Dominik Notz gained ground in the final two laps and placed fourth in the contest for his second-career All-America honor.
The women’s distance medley relay team of Jessica Pahkala, Mary-Kathleen Cross, Tamara Perez and Caroline Kurgat also had a fourth place result. The four-person squad set a school record with a time of 11:31.21, breaking the previous best set in 2013.
After one day of events, the women’s team sat in third place overall, while the men’s group was looking up from the 14th spot.
UAA added four more All-American performances on the second and final day, totaling 11 over the weekend, a school best. Receiving his third-career honor was senior Cody Thomas, who set a Great Northwest Athletic Conference record with 5,538 points in the heptathlon, just one point shy of the runner-up.
“I had a go at it, gave it everything, so I have no regrets.” said the New Zealander, who is now focused on the Outdoor Track and Field season. “I plan on getting my knee better. We are heading out to Texas to do the [Texas Relays], so I hoping to qualify and have a bit of fun there as well while doing it, and get better over the season.”
Notching the eighth All-America award of her career, Karolin Anders took seventh in the pentathlon, including second in the high jump with a leap of five feet and seven inches.
“This [pentathlon] was the hardest meet I have had mentally. I’ve had hard meets before but this one wasn’t going my way from the beginning,” said Anders.
Prior to this season, one event that UAA had never participated in at the national level was the men’s 4×400 meter relay. Seawolves Nicholas Taylor, Liam Lindsay, Travis Turner and Adam Commandeur changed that, and finished 12th at the meet.
The women’s team fell to ninth place at the close of the second day, but it was still the best the school has ever finished. The men’s side remained in 14th, placing better than their rank heading into the meet.
Over the course of the regular season, GNAC, and NCAA championships, the Indoor Track and Field team broke over 20 school records. The outdoor season is already underway, with the Seawolves heading to the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon on March 26.
The UAA men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams each placed second at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Western Oregon University earlier this month. A podium sweep in the men’s’ 10,000 and 5,000-meter races, three meet-record performances on the women’s side, and a 220-foot javelin throw by one senior were several highlights for the Seawolves in the GNAC championships May 8-9.
Western Washington University squeezed out the men’s championship, bettering the green and gold by 2 points, which translates to a fraction of a second in this sport.
“It came to the very last 20 meters of the men’s 4 x (400-meter relay). I mean, we lost by 0.08 seconds. If we’d have won that we would have been tied,” said head coach Matt Friess of the last race of the meet. “We knew it was going to be really close all along and we edged Western Washington by a few points indoors, they edged us by a few points outdoors.”
Franz Burghagen and Elliot Bauer, both seniors, repeated as champions in their respective events of javelin toss and 400-meter hurdles.
The three-headed monster of junior Victor Samoei, freshman Henry Cheseto, and junior Dominik Notz finished 1-2-3 in the men’s 10,000-meter race. The following day, senior Dylan Anthony got in on the action, teaming up with Cheseto and Notz to complete another podium sweep, this time in the 5000-meter. Anthony, who ran for Kodiak High School, won the event in a blistering 14:39.17 seconds.
On the women’s side, Seattle Pacific was victorious over the rest of the competition with 183 points and enjoyed a much more comfortable margin of victory of 29 points.
Coach Friess was proud of his female bunch, which did not have a deep roster to begin with.
“It is a pretty amazing crew really,” said Friess, “We had … 13 or 14 athletes compared to, you know, 24 or 25 athletes on the other teams.”
The “amazing crew” included sophomore sprinter Jamie Ashcroft and senior hurdler Hayleigh Lloyd. Both left conference championships with new meet-records to their name. Ashcroft won the 100-meter and 200-meter titles. She ran the fastest GNAC Championships 100-meter in the preliminaries on Friday before going on to win the final heat the next day. Ashcroft set the meet-record in the 200-meter dash on Saturday with a time of 24.45 seconds.
Lloyd was victorious in the 400-meter hurdles, setting the meet-record in 1:00.29. Her fellow hurdler Rosie Smith didn’t do too bad either. She beat out the rest of the competition in the 100-meter hurdles. It was Smith’s first time winning the title in that event.
Last but not least, junior Karolin Anders took home both the long jump and heptathlon individual titles. A heptathlon is a multi-sport event that includes the 100-meter, 200-meter, shot put, javelin, high jump, long jump, and 800-meter.
The Seawolves will send 7 women and 4 men for the NCAA Championships this weekend in the Allendale, Michigan.
Anders, Ashcroft, Lloyd, Beatrice Decker, Amy Johnston, Caroline Kurgat, and Jessica Pahkala will be lacing it up for the UAA women.
The men will be represented by two throwers and two runners. Both Notz and Cheseto are looking to make a splash in the 5,000-meter. Burghagen and Cody Parker will provide each other some friendly competition in the javelin throw. The meet kicks off on Thursday and runs until Saturday.
You can follow along on twitter @UAAXCTF
Sacramento– The University of Alaska Anchorage Outdoor Track and Field competed in Sacramento State Mondo Mid-Major Challenge from April 10 through April 12.
UAA’s Cody Thomas, Junior, Decathlon, placed first in the 100-meter dash posting a time of 10.96. In the long jump Thomas placed first recording a jump of 6.99 meters and brought his total of points in the Decathlon to 811 points. Cody finished second place behind Portland States Nevin Lewis, Senior, in the 400-meter dash. Lewis finished the dash with a time of 49.12 and Thomas finished with a time of 49.48. In the 110-meter hurdles Thomas finished first place with a time of 15.47.
UAA’s Karolin Anders, Sophomore, Heptathlon, tied for first in the high jump with Kassandra Corrigan, Sophomore, Sacramento State posting a 1.63 meters in the event. Anders placed in first in the shot put with a throw of 10.70 meters. In the long jump Karolin took home first place, with a final of 5.75 meters. Anders finished in second place throwing the javelin 33.14 meters for a total of 108-09.
Thomas broke his UAA own decathlon record of 6,781 with a new point total of 6,940, just 60 points from automatically qualifying for the NCAAs. Thomas finished third in Sacramento, surpassing the provisional mark of 6,200.
Karolin finished in first place in the heptathlon with a final score of 5048. Anders point total ranks her fifth all-time in the GNAC record books and qualifies her provisionally for the NCAAs in May. Currently, Anders has the fourth-best mark in Div. II and will need to reach 5,200 points for an automatic berth to Nationals
The nationally ranked Seawolves are back in action April 17-19 with the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, Bryan Clay Invite and the Long Beach Invite
The last time we caught up with the Seawolf cross country teams, they were undefeated heading into the midway point of the season. Not much has changed.
Both the men’s and women’s teams continued to molly-wop opponents as the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships approached. The two squads took flawless records with them to Spokane, Wash., for the championships in early November. But only one left unscathed.
The women — who entered the meet ranked No. 4 in the country — had to make room in their case for yet another trophy. The team bested the Chico State Wildcats by a slim three points en route to its fourth title in five years.
The win propelled them to Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-Team of the Week honors. It also booked them a spot at the NCAA Division II Championships next weekend.
Senior Susan Tanui and sophomore Joyce Kipchumba registered key performances.
Tanui strengthened her UAA legacy by defending the West Region Championship Belt she took home last year. Kipchumba crossed the line three seconds later, finishing as the runner-up.
Seniors Ivy O’Guinn and Susan Bick had big days too, capturing top 20 victories that helped boost the ‘Wolves score.
The men’s team couldn’t stop the Wildcats from steamrolling but were the closest to doing so. They snagged second place and will join the women at the NCAAs.
The first three runners to cross the finish line were Wildcats. Their grip only tightened when a fourth Wildcat crossed in sixth place.
While Chico State had a big day, the UAA men’s team still put up a fight. Junior Dylan Anthony and freshman Victor Samoei both had top 10 finishes. Junior Isaac Kangogo narrowly missed the top-10 mark, landing in 12th place.
The two teams have kept an exhausting pace over the last five seasons. As mentioned before, the women have won the West Regions four times over that span. The men have two wins and two second-place finishes in that time.
Dynasties aren’t born overnight. A dynasty is molded from many seasons of success, and that’s exactly what this program has had on the west coast. The descriptor may or may not be apt, but it’s worthy of discussion.
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.
UPDATE 5:30 am, 11/9/11:
Marko Cheseto has been found alive but is not out of the woods yet.
Cheseto walked into the Springhill Suites hotel located on University Lake by the UAA and APU campuses at around 3:30 am this morning. The hotel immediately contacted UPD .
In an official statement by UAA, Cheseto is said to be “extremely hypothermic” and has been taken to a local hospital for treatment.
This past season, the University of Alaska Anchorage had what most people would consider a relatively young track team, retiring only eight athletes from the program. Despite the low number of graduating seniors, the shoes these men and women walk in will be big ones to fill, and finding replacements won’t happen overnight, though hopefully will in the future.
Athletes come and go through the athletic program at UAA. Some have made more of an impression that others. David Registe, will be a Seawolf who has left his foot print permanently pressed into the legacy of UAA athletics. Registe, started his long and successful career with the UAA track and field team in 2007,…
On Feb. 19 UAA’s own student and athlete William Ritewiang passed away. “We are deeply saddened to report the death of William Ritekwiang. William, a sophomore from Kapenguria, Kenya, was found this morning (Saturday) in his home. All of the Seawolf Nation sends our thoughts and our prayer to his family, friends, teammates and coaches,”…
Nine conference titles. 14 All-GNAC performances. Nine GNAC All-Academic selections. Things look pretty good for the Seawolf Track and Field team who finished up the GNAC Championships May 14-15 in record fashion. “The team competed very strongly,” TJ Garlatz said, UAA assistant Track and Field coach. “Obviously, we’re a small team, but we won all…
Coming off the 2009 season that qualified 10 athletes for the NCAA, it seemed that the Seawolf Track and Field team would continue to improve this season.
However, after their first two weeks of competition, the word “improve” just doesn’t do the Seawolves justice.
Perhaps Head Coach Michael Friess can give better perspective.
“We have a very good team at an elite level,” Freiss said about his team’s fantastic start.
Elite. Yes, that word should sum it up pretty well.
This week, the Seawolves will try to keep up their scorching start when they head to Oregon for the Willamette Invitational. The competition will be held April 2-3 in Salem and will be another good opportunity for the ‘Wolves to keep improving their season bests.
So far, the Seawolves have posted 18 NCAA provisional marks – nine marks for both the women and men’s teams, to be exact.
There has been no shortage of great individual displays to start the 2010 season.
For instance, freshman Ethan Hewitt had a GNAC and UAA record setting win of 47.62 seconds in the 400m back on March 5 in Las Vegas.
Also, sophome Miram Kipngeno (16:59.24) and sophomore Ruth Keino (17:00.03) finished first and second in the women’s 5000m event at the Occidental Distance Carnival on March 12.
Can’t forget about junior Demietrius Preston and his first place in the long jump competition, 24-6.09 feet, at the Northridge Invite March 12.
Clearly, this is a team that is chalked full of athletes who have already given strong performances in the young season. It is hard to really put one athlete’s season ahead of another, but Friess was quick to name off one that had stood out him personally.
“Alfred Kangogo has really stepped forward,” Friess said without hesitation. “He has nationally provisionally qualified for three events (already).”
Kangogo, who may have the best track and field last name in Seawolf history, has already improved his tremendous freshman year. In 2009, he was named the GNAC’s Male Freshman of the Year award after qualifying for the NCAA’s in the 1,500 meters race.
So how does he top that this season? Simple, he goes out and surpasses his career bests in the 800m, 1500m and 5000m and receives provisional marks in all three events.
“He’s always, obviously, been good, but this season, he’s gone to another level,” Friess said.
This series of team success comes in the wake of losing two All-Americans from last year’s squad. 2008 Long Jump National Champion David Registe, junior, was forced to redshirt this season due to injury. By redshirting, he keeps another year of athletic eligibility and will be able to return for his senior year.
Also, junior Shaun Ward remains out with an injury and it is undetermined if he will return to action this season or be forced to sit out as well.
Despite the two key loses, other ‘Wolves have stepped up and made their own marks on the completions this year. Having accomplished so much in such a small amount of time leaves no doubt about the Seawolf Track and Field team potential.
The future looks very bright for a UAA program that is solid on the both women’s and men’s sides.
Now as to whether we should have expected it or been surprised about their start, that’s another story in itself.
“We had a pretty good suspicion,” Friess said.