Seawolves track and field compete in California

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.

Written by Jordan Rodenberger