UAA women claim GNAC track crown

Grace Morgan sprinted to two conference titles and Ruth Keino led a 1-2-3 Seawolves finish in the 5,000 meters Saturday to help the UAA women run away with the team title at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference track and field championships.

The triumph marked UAA's first conference title in outdoor track, but it was the women's second conference crown in four months. In February, the Seawolves took the women's title at the GNAC indoor track and field championships.

UAA piled up 169 points during the two-day meet in Monmouth, Ore. That was more than enough to end the Seattle Pacific women's three-year reign as conference champs; the Falcons placed second this time with 146 points.

The UAA men finished fourth in the team standings with 129 points. Western Washington won with 183.5.

UAA's women won five individual titles and its men won two on Saturday. For the meet, the Seawolves wound up with seven individual titles for the women and four for the men.

Besides Morgan and Keino, Saturday's winners were:

• Haleigh Lloyd, a junior from British Columbia, who won the women's 400 hurdles with a meet-record time of 1:01.21;

• Karolin Anders, a freshman from Germany, who took the women's high jump with a school-record jump of 5 feet, 5.75 inches;

• Elliott Bauer, a sophomore from Anchorage, who won the men's 400 hurdles in 54.06;

• Franz Burghagem, a freshman from Germany, who topped the men's javelin with a school-record throw of 228-0.

Morgan, a sophomore from British Columbia, defended her titles in the 100 meters (12.12 seconds) and 200 meters (24.44), victories that came a day after she broke the GNAC record in the 200 with a 24.3 preliminary time.

Keino, a senior from Kenya, collected her second title of the meet by winning the 5,000 meters, leading a 1-2-3 finish for the Seawolves. After winning the 10,000 on Friday in a meet-record 36:02.0, Keino clocked 17:35.97 in the 5,000.

Close behind in 17:37.08 was Susan Tanui of Kenya, who won Friday's 3,000-meter steeplechase, followed by Ivy O'Guinn of Soldotna (17:41.43).

For O'Guinn, the result was one of three third-place finishes. She was third in the 1,500 (4:28.71) and third in the 800 (2:10.47).

Besides the seven individual titles won Saturday, UAA chalked up three on Friday (Keino in the 10,000, Tanui in the steeplechase and Yonatan Yilma in the men's 10,000) and one a week ago at the GNAC multi-event championships, where Cody Thomas claimed the decathlon title.

The Seawolves wrap up the season May 23-25 at the NCAA Division II national championships in Pueblo, Colo.

Anchorage Daily News