After a local meet against UAF and a UNLV Invitational, the Seawolves traveled to Bellingham, Washington to race in the Western Washington Invite on Oct. 20. This was just their third race of the season, but the final racing opportunity that the Seawolves had before the Great Northwest Athletic Championships.
In a successful outcome of events, the UAA men’s team produced an overall No. 2 finish while the women’s team placed No. 3 overall.
However, on both sides, the Seawolves posted No. 1 individual finishes.
For the third time this year, Emmah Chelimo was the overall individual winner. She finished the 6-kilometer race in 21 minutes and 15 seconds to average a 5:41-mile pace.
In contrast to her previous wins, where she was significantly ahead of her competition, Chelimo was followed by the second place finisher who was just two seconds behind her. The duo had already pulled away from the competition and ran side by side, nearly 40 seconds ahead of the next finisher.
Following Chelimo, Zennah Jepchumba from UAA posted a No. 10 finish in 22 minutes and 5 seconds, Danielle McCormick trailed in at No. 18 (22:25), followed by Nancy Jeptoo (No. 29, 22:51) and Ruth Cvancara (No. 32, 22:56).
On the men’s side, Felix Kemboi secured his first win of the season, finishing his 10-km race in 31 minutes and 40 seconds. In contrast to Chelimo, Kemboi was 11 seconds ahead of his competition; however, his competition was also from UAA.
Wesley Kirui finished at No. 2 at an average pace of 5 minutes and 7 seconds.
Another duo finishing at No. 10 and 11 was Nickson Koech (32:27) and Jorge Sanchez (32:28).
Following the race, due to their accomplishments, both Chelimo and Kemboi were named GNAC Runner of the Week.
This was Chelimo’s second time getting the award this season and Kemboi’s first.
In addition, Chelimo was named the Division II Women’s Cross Country National Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association.
While the runnings were ending their regular season competition and heading into conference championships, head coach Micheal Friess was pleased with the final efforts.
“For our first race in nearly a month, I thought we raced really well. [Chelimo] defeated some very talented open runners for the win today. Danielle had a very good race today, and I am excited as we head into the championship part of our season,” Friess said.
The Seawolves will be back in action for their conference championships in Monmouth, Oregon on Nov. 3. For more information and a full schedule visit www.goseawolves.com.