For the first half of our year-end profiles, I got the chance to interview middle distance runner Alfred Kangogo. Hailing from Eldoret, Kenya, Kangogo qualified for his fourth NCAA championship last year and became the second Seawolf ever to post three straight All-America honors in the same event (1,500 meters).
TNL: What did you appreciate most about going to UAA?
Kangogo: I think the thing I appreciated most about going to UAA was that they offer the full athletic scholarship. And then the community and the people are so nice, both the faculty and the students. The winter is not that great though. (Laughs.)
What will you miss most?
I think I will miss the culture the most. It’s a different culture than from where I come from, completely different. More people help each other. Some people are concerned about themselves more, but I got used to that.
I think my favorite accomplishments come from my running and studying, getting my education. Because I’m doing track and cross country it’s helping me get my degrees, and doing that would be a big accomplishment for me.
I think that would be for anybody, when will you have your second one?
This year by Dec. 1 will have two degrees — one in nutrition and the other in nursing.
We’ve had a lot of memorable moments. I think my best moments have come from having my brother (Isaac) here with me. I like it because if I’m having a hard time, I like to have people around me, and it’s also nice to have family around.
Any lessons learned?
I’ve learned a lot of things, I don’t know any specifically but I have learned a lot.
What are your plans after graduating?
After I graduate, I want to get a little bit of nursing experience before I go back to school again. Before I go back home.
So you’re planning to go to grad school, then go back and do nursing in Kenya?
Yes. The people there need help, man.
Yeah that would be nice to go and give back to them. Any advice for incoming UAA students?
I think the main thing to tell students is to work hard, and to go in with a plan and stick with it. Some people go to college undecided and then keep saying, “Oh, I’ll decide my major next year.” You should just pick a major and focus on that.
In what was probably the most interesting interview I’ve ever participated in, I chatted with senior distance runner Katie Krehlik. Krehlik had an all-conference showing at the GNAC Championships, and prior to UAA, she was a four-time letter winner in both cross-country and track & field.
What’s your name, major, and origin?
My name is Katie Krehlik. My major is Psychology, but I don’t really like it though. And I’m originally from Juneau, Alaska.
So you like your major because you’re studying it… But you don’t like it?
Well no, I like it just fine. It’s just not necessarily what I’ll be doing in the future.
How would you define your past years at UAA?
Hmm, I guess it’s been pretty special. I’ve had a lot of opportunities playing for the team.
Could you tell me a little more about running cross-country and your experiences doing that?
We get to go to really cool places every year. And we get to run against really good competition. In track we compete against others not just Division II.
What are your future plans after graduating?
I don’t know if I have any plans.
So you’re just going to graduate and do nothing?
Honestly, yeah. I’m not going to sit on the couch, but I’m going to do nothing. I might travel, I might not. But I don’t have any set plans.
Well I’m not expecting you to tell me you’re going to school “here” or will be working “there” but you don’t have a direction?
Nope. I just want to enjoy life.
And what’s wrong with that?
There’s nothing wrong with that! I just don’t know if that’s what I should say?
Do you ever plan on getting a job?
I don’t want to get one. I never want to have to have a job. But I guess I’ll have to at some point, so I will decide when I have to.
How are you going to get paid?
You know, I’ll probably just not get paid. I’m going to live off the money in my savings account (which isn’t very much). Or possibly I’ll end up getting a job. What I really want to do is be a voice actress.
Like for TV show?
Yeah, like cartoons and stuff, you know?
So what made you want to come here, did you get a scholarship?
No, I actually wasn’t going to come here at first. But then I didn’t like the college I was at (in Arizona) so I came back to Alaska. I was at home for a semester, when T.J. Garlatz (assistant coach) heard when I was back. He told me I should really consider coming to UAA cause it’s a good program, and he knew I was interested in running. He convinced me.
So if you could go anywhere without worrying about finances, etc., where would it be?
I really want to go to France because I speak a little bit of French. I’m not very good. I’ve been taking it since I came here. But I want go there so I can learn French really well.
Anything you would or wouldn’t do again, or any lessons you’ve learned here?
When you have a coach, and they ask you to do something, you should do it. They don’t like having to wait. They always drive that into us “do this right away,” and when they don’t the coach gets a little irritated and the whole team suffers from it.
Do you have any advice for incoming student-athletes?
For runners I would say to keep your goals high, but not too high, because sometimes things happen.