GNAC showers UAA track team with honors

The UAA track and field team cleaned up Thursday when end-of-season awards were announced by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Cody Thomas, who last week earned All-America honors in the decathlon, was named the conference’s top male athlete, and the women’s team collected three awards. Joyce Kipchumba, an All-American last week in the 10,000 meters, was named newcomer of the year, sprinter Jamie Ashcroft was named freshman of the year and coach Michael Friess was named coach of the year.

For Friess, the award was the latest of many. The GNAC has six times named him coach of the year — twice for women’s outdoor track, twice for women’s indoor track and twice for men’s outdoor track.

Thomas, who placed seventh in the decathlon at the NCAA Division II championships, is the second athlete in GNAC history to break the 7,000-point mark in decathlon. 

Kipchumba, a junior who earlier this year won the GNAC award as the top female newcomer in indoor track, won the 10,000 and was third in the 5,000 at the GNAC championships. She became an All-American by placing seventh in the 10,000 at the national championships.

Ashcroft swept the women’s 100 and 200 titles and was a member of UAA’s winning relay team at the GNAC championships. She didn’t gain All-America status at the national meet but she broke the GNAC record in the 100 there, placing 11th in a time of 11.69.

Also on Thursday, UAA junior Bryn Haebe was named to the 10-women Capital One Academic All-District team for women’s track and field/cross country.

Haebe was a member of the UAA women’s teams that claimed the GNAC track and field title earlier this month and the GNAC and West Region cross country championships last fall.

She owns a 3.92 grade-point average and has three majors — nursing, psychology and nutrition. She’s now a candidate to earn a spot on the All-America academic team.


Anchorage Daily News