Sports Briefs 3/30/2010

Four Seawolves qualify for NCAAs

The Alaska Anchorage track team lit up the track at the Stanford Invitational and Chabot Relays claiming four UAA records and posting four NCAA automatic qualifying times on March 27.

At the mostly Div. I Stanford Invite, junior Demietrius Preston registered the best long jump so far this season in Div. II. The Anchorage native won the event with an automatic qualifying time of 24-7.25, besting his personal best of 24-6.09, set March 13 at the Northridge Invite.

Breaking the old GNAC and UAA record in the 5000 meters was sophomore Ruth Keino, but Seattle Pacific’s Jessica Pixler set the new record at 15:44.07. A native of Kapcheno, Kenya, Keino raced to a time of 16:46.48.

Also running in the 5000 meters was sophomore Miriam Kipng’Eno, who was clocked at 16:48.00. Kipng’eno and Keino both booked themselves a ticket to the NCAA Championships in Charlotte, N. C. (May 27-29) after bypassing the required time of 16:57.00.

Setting a new UAA record and posting an automatic time in the men’s steeplechase was freshman Micah Chelimo. The Kenyan was clocked at 8:58.79, easily hitting the 9:06.00 auto time. Chelimo overtook the Seawolf record that was set by current graduate assistant coach David Kiplagat (9:01.67), while just missing the GNAC record (8:58.62).

Freshman John Reed registered a UAA record in the triple jump at the Chabot Relays as the Alaska Anchorage track & field team wrapped up competition in the Bay Area on March 27.

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The majority of the day was comprised of relays, with the Seawolves winning the 4,000m distance medley in a time of 10:34.61. UAA was represented by sophomore Thomas Hill, junior Levi Sutton, freshman Brad Truax and senior Paul Rottich.

The men’s team also won the 1600m Sprint Medley in a time of 3:38.35.

On the women’s side, the Seawolves were also victorious in the distance medley with a time of 12:50.37. Sophomore Ariel Roelle was the lead leg, followed by junior Natalie Pfeifer, junior Alex West and freshman Kristen King as the final leg.

The Seawolves will next compete in the Willamette Invitational on April 2-3.

Gymnasts finish up with highest marks of season

Despite scoring a season-high 190.725 points and getting outstanding performances from Kaelei Spoor and Lauren Agostino, the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team placed fourth March 27 at the ninth annual Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at Royal Brougham Pavilion.

UAA, which competed the second half of the season with an injury-riddled lineup, with 2009 team MVP Leah Wilson and defending MPSF bars champion Kristy Boswell lost to season-ending ACL tears, still scored more than half a point better than its previous season-high of 190.200 set with a healthy roster back on Feb. 12.

The Seawolves produced a season-best 48.825 on floor exercise to earn the third-best score in program history, led by Spoor’s second-place 9.875 routine. The sophomore from Rome, N.Y., tied the 10th-best individual floor score for a Seawolf, while her third-place 9.825 on balance beam tied for No. 4 on UAA’s all-time list and was just 0.025 shy of the school record.

Seniors Meagan Byrne (9.625) and Courtney Williams (9.675) set and tied their career-highs, respectively, while Agostino and sophomore Shakea Sanders produced impressive 9.75s on floor.

“We just couldn’t make up for the injuries on bars. Overall, the girls know they performed to the best of their ability and they feel good about that.”