UAA women first, men second at GNAC track championships

In its first season with a full-fledged indoor track and field team, UAA made the most of its Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships by storm, with the women capturing the team title and the men placing second.

The Seawolves claimed wins in five events Saturday to finish the two-day meet with seven individual champions and a relay victory.

Micah Chelimo, who won the 3,000 meters Friday, ran to convincing victories in the mile and 5,000 meters Saturday to emerge as a three-time champion. He easily earned the meet's Most Outstanding Male Performer award.

Cody Thomas won the heptathlon title with 4,863 points, good for a GNAC record, to help the Seawolvevs to second place in the men's team standings with 134. Western Washington won the men's title with 152 points.

The women used victories Saturday from Susan Tanui and Rosie Smith to grab the team title with 147 points, beating runner-up Western Washington by 29.5 points.

Tanui won the 5,000 meters to go with the 3,000-meter victory she collected Friday. Smith won the 200 meters.

Led by Chelimo and Tanui, the Seawolves owned the distance races.

In Saturday's 5,000, the women grabbed seven of the top 10 spots and the men took five of the top 10 spots. In the mile, the women and the men both had four in the top 10.

That continued a dominance established Friday, when the men swept the top five spots in the 3,000 and won the distance medley relay while the women placed seven in the top 10 in the 3,000 and finished second in the distance medley relay.

In the men's 5,000, Chelimo was the only runner to finish in less than 15 minutes, posting a time of 14:55.17. Dylan Anthony was second (15:00.88), Jake Parisien was third (15:09.32), Kevin Rooke seventh (15:13.37) and Yonata Yilma ninth (15:13.64).

In the women's 5,000, Tanui won in 17:51.26, followed by Ruth Keino in second (17:51.37), Miriam Kipng'eno in fourth (18:06.44), Jaymi Bethea in sixth (18:07.26), Christi Schmitz in seventh (18:10.91), Bryn Haeb in ninth (18:29.14) and Katie Krehlik in 10th (18:38.02).

In the men's mile, Chelimo triumphed in 4:12.28, with teammate Alfred Kangogo second in 4:14.28. Anthony placed fifth and Isaac Kangogo was ninth.

In the women's mile, Tanui placed second in 4:58.97, less than a second behind the winner. Keino was third in 5:00.84, with Ivy O'Guinn sixth and Jessica Pahkala seventh.

Smith won the 200 in 25.2 seconds -- beating teammate Grace Morgan, who was second in 25.46 -- and placed second in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.8 seconds.

Susan Bick picked up a third-place finish in the 800 and the men landed three in the top five in the 800. Joe Day led the way in third place, with Isaac Kangogo fourth and Alfred Kangogo fifth. Elliott Bauer added a third-place finish in the 400.

In all, UAA produce 25 top-three finishes. Besides Chelimo and Tanui, Keino, Anthony and Parisien all made multiple trips to the podium.

Next up for the Seawolves are the NCAA Division II indoor championships March 7-9 in Birmingham, Ala.

Anchorage Daily News