UAA's Micah Chelimo smashed the conference record in the 5,000 meters and booked a ticket to the NCAA Division II indoor track and field championships Friday at the Husky Classic in Seattle.
Chelimo, a junior from Kenya, recorded a time of 13 minutes, 51.19 seconds, slicing more than 20 seconds off the old Great Northwest Athletic Conference mark of 14:12.10.
Chelimo's time puts him on the list of the top 10 fastest all-time 5,000-meter marks in Division II history. It was well below the 14:03.71 needed to automatically qualify for the NCAA championships.
Two other Seawolves also posted automatic qualifying times -- Susan Tanui and Ruth Keino, who both qualified in the women's 5,000. Tanui clocked 16:29.48 and Keino 16:31:87 to better the automatic qualifying time of 16:36.61.
In addition, Dylan Anthony and both medley distance relay teams posted provisional qualifying times. Provisional times qualify athletes for the national championships if there are not enough automatic qualifiers; typically, a provisional time will get an athlete to the nationals.
Anthony, who had already met the provisional time in the 5,000 meters, lowered his season-best with a time of 14:37.59. Also lowering their provisional time were Susan Bick, Haleigh Lloyd, Ivy O'Guinn and Jessica Pahkala in the women's medley relay, running to a time of 11:48.43.
Matsunami leads Seawolves
Freshman M'rcy Matsunami shared an event title with teammate Emily Peterson won the all-around competition for the third meet in a row Friday to lead the UAA gymnastics team in a tri-meet in Shreveport, La.
Matsunami and teammate Emily Peterson both scored 9.75 points to tie for first place the uneven parallel bars title. UAA claimed the top four spots in the event -- sophomore Saiarye Jensen placed third (9.7) and freshman Marie-Sophie Boggasch finished fourth (9.675).
Boggasch, a freshman, earned her first career victory by topping the vault with a 9.575. Jensen and Kaylie Davies, another freshmen, tied for third place in the vault with scores of 9.525 to help the Seawolves claim five of the top six spots.
Matsunami took the all-around crown with 38.425 points.
The Seawolves placed second in the team competition. Host Centenary won with 190.5 points, followed by UAA (190.025) and Winona State (186.075).
UAA meets Centenary in a dual meet on Sunday.
UAA lands four in top 10
UAA skiers racked up four top-10 finishes Friday in Utah Invitational's classic-technique nordic race at Soldier Hollow.
Marine Dusser, a freshman from France, grabbed second place for the fourth time this season, and Patricia Sprecher, a freshman from Switzerland, claimed fourth place in the women's 5-kilometer race.
Colorado's Joanne Reid won the race in 14 minutes, 49.8 seconds. Dusser clocked 14:52.3 and Sprecher 15:02.5.
In the men's 10-K, junior Lukas Ebner from Germany, placed fifth in 26:01.9, and Viktor Braennmark, a freshman from Sweden, placed seventh in 26:06.6.
The win went to Utah's Miles Havlick in 25:19.2.
Two Alaskan women skiing for Montana State also posted top-10 finishes -- Jessica Yeaton was seventh (15:07.9) and Annie Liotta was 10th (15:16.1).