For just the second race of the season, the UAA cross-country team took 16 runners, eight men, and eight women, to the highly competitive NCAA Pre-Nationals Invite on Sept. 28.
The Seawolves competed in the college men’s 8-kilometer invitational and the college women’s 6-kilometer invitational. The women finished 12th overall out of a total of 40 teams, while the men were 18th out of 35.
Former head coach and current assistant coach Michael Friess was satisfied with the Seawolves’ results.
“Wesley [Kirui] and Felix [Kemboi] ran well today. Our women ran solid as a team. Our top-three faded over the final one to two kilometers, but Ruth [Cvancara] and Yvonne [Jeschke] had decent races,” Friess said.
The men’s team competed in a field of 280 men from all over the country.
UAA freshman Wesley Kirui was the top-finisher for the Seawolves, finishing in second place with a time of 24 minutes and 7 seconds. He was just three seconds behind the Division I first-place finisher.
Junior Felix Kemboi was the UAA men’s second-highest finisher, just five seconds behind Kirui. Kemboi placed fourth overall with a time of 24:12.
The remaining six Seawolf men were over a minute and a half behind Kirui and Kemboi.
Junior Nikson Koech placed 149th (25:48), freshman Skylar McIntyre finished 170th (26:00), with sophomore Faisal Ibrahim (206th, 26:24), senior Eduardo Orozco (234th, 26:42), freshman Niko Latva-Kiskola (248th, 27:05) and freshman Titus Kangogo (276th, 28:02) finishing in the 200s.
The UAA women competed in the 6K invite with a field of 322 women.
Senior Emmah Chelimo was the top finisher, placing 15th overall. She finished in 21:05, 45 seconds behind the first-place finisher, a Seattle Pacific runner. Junior Nancy Jeptoo was the only other Seawolf to place in the double-digits, finishing 21st with a time of 21:15, ten seconds behind Chelimo.
Freshman Joan Kipsanai (123rd, 22:16), sophomore Ruth Cvancara (133rd, 22:23) and senior Yvonne Jeschke (139th, 22:25) were the only Seawolf women to place in the 100s.
Alfin Nyamasyo (274th, 24:05), Maria Espinoza (295th, 24:37) and Arielle Himelbloom (310th, 25:35) were also finishers on the women’s team.
The Seawolves will be back in action on Oct. 12 for the Western Washington Invitational.
For a full UAA cross-country schedule and full results, visit www.goseawolves.com.