UAA's Cheseto named athlete of the year

Chalk up a few more accolades for the UAA cross country teams, including a big honor for junior Marko Cheseto.

Cheseto, who last weekend became the first UAA runner to win an NCAA Division II West Region title, was named the region's athlete of the year Thursday by the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association.

The region honor is the latest of many for Cheseto, of Kapenguria, Kenya. He earned All-America honors last season for his ninth-place finish at the national championships, and earlier this season, he won a second straight GNAC title and, for the second straight season, was named the conference's male Athlete of the Year.

Also on Thursday, seven UAA runners -- six women and one man -- were named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference's all-academic team.

Leading the way was sophomore Ariel Roelle of Anchorage, one of two GNAC runners with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

Other women gaining academic honors were senior Laura Carr of South Bend, Ind., a three-time pick, and first-time honorees Alex West of Soldotna, Ruth Keino of Kapcheno, Kenya, Natalie Pfeifer of Ketchikan, Shoshana Keegan of Anchorage.

For the men, senior Paul Rottich of Kapsabet, Kenya, earned all-academic honors for the second time in his career.

Both the men's and women's teams qualified for the Nov. 21 national championships in Evansville, Ind.

Anchorage Daily News