Anchorage — UAA’s Ruth Keino and Susan Tanui finished 1-2 in the women’s 10,000 meters, and crushed the field Friday in unusually warm conditions at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference track and field championships at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.
Keino clocked a GNAC-record 36 minutes, 2 seconds to defend her title and edge Tanui (36:02.84), and the third-place finisher, Montana State-Billings’ Whitney Mickelsen (38:05.54), did not cross the line until more than two minutes later.
“Those are probably two of the best 10-K runners in Division II right now,’’ UAA coach Michael Friess said by cellphone.
Even so, Friess said, Keino is more likely to focus on the 5-K at the national championships and Tanui’s passion lies in the steeplechase.
That blowout by Keino and Tanui came after Tanui defended her 3,000-meter steeplechase title about three hours earlier by torching the field in 10:41.88, nearly 23 seconds ahead of the runner-up on a day when temperatures were in the 80s. UAA’s Katie Krehlik took fourth in the steeple in 11:21.34, and teammates Jaymi Bethea (11:26.69) and Bryn Haebe (11:30:87) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
The Seawolves engaged in distance domination — Yonatan Yilma of UAA won the men’s 10,000 in 32:25.74, with teammate Victor Samoei runner-up in 32:32:20, Kevin Rooke grabbing fifth in 32:42.71 and Jake Parisien taking eighth (32:51.73).
UAA’s Dylan Anthony finished fourth in the men’s steeplechase (9:35.10), one spot ahead of teammate Andrey Ionashku (9:37.43).
In the women’s 800 meters, UAA’s Ivy O’Guinn qualified second in a personal-best and school-record 2:09:34, and Susan Bick qualified third in 2:11.02.
Heading into Saturday’s final day of the meet, UAA’s women sit atop the team standings with 58 points, three points ahead of Western Washington and six points ahead of Seattle Pacific. The UAA men stand fourth with 43 points, putting them 21 points behind leader Central Washington.
In women’s sprint preliminaries, UAA’s Grace Morgan topped the 100 meters (12.00) and 200 meters (24.30) as she began defense of her conference crowns in those events. Her 200 time marked a UAA record. Haleigh Lloyd topped qualifiers in the 400 hurdles (1:00.54) and was third among qualifiers in the 100 hurdles (14.45).
In men’s hurdles prelims, UAA’s Bobo Camara led qualifiers in the 400 hurdles (53.73) and qualified fourth in the 110 hurdles (15:14).