It might have been a distance race, but a sprint decided the 5,000 meters at Friday's NCAA Division II indoor track and field championships.
Adams State's Kevin Batt won in 14 minutes, 6.27 seconds -- edging defending champion Micah Chelimo of UAA by just three-hundredths of a second.
Batt took the lead in the final 200 meters and held off a pursuing Chelimo, who led for more than half the race. Chelimo, a senior, was seeking a fourth natinal championship -- he won the 2012 NCAA cross-country title, the 2012 outdoor 5,000 title and last year's indoor 5,000 title.
In the women's 5,000 meters, UAA's Joyce Kipchumba placed sixth in 17:14.18 to earn her first All-American finish. Lauren Martin of Adams State, who entered nationals with the fastest 5,000-meter time, took first in 17:04.6.
The Seawolves' women's distance medley relay placed fourth to give UAA six All-America honors on the first day of the championships -- raising the school's total to 16 for a program that is in just its second full season of competition.
Susan Bick (1,200-meter leg), Haleigh Lloyd (400), Jessica Pahkala (800) and Ivy O'Guinn (1,600) finished the race in 11:47.97. The same foursome took fifth last season.
UAA's women are tied for 10th place in team standings with eight points. Grand Valley State is in first with 25 points.
Chelimo, the Seawolves' lone man at the meet, has UAA in ninth place with eight points thanks to his second-place finish. Adams State sits in first with 29 points.
The competition continues Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Outdoor records fall
UAA set one outdoor track conference record and two school records Friday at the Occidental Distance Relays in Eagle Rock, Calif.
Elliott Bauer, Bobo Camara, Adam Commandeur and Ethan Hewitt set a GNAC record of 3:13.7 in the men's 4x400 relay, topping Western Washington's previous mark of 3:14.15.
Cody Thomas' time of 14.81 seconds is a new UAA record in the 110-meter hurdles, and the women's 4x100 relay set a school record of 47.11 seconds.
Anchorage Daily News