Skip to main Content
UAA Athletics

Record-setting Kurgat repeats as UAA’s Athlete of the Year

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: April 26
  • Published April 26

Caroline Kurgat was named UAA's Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year for the second straight year. (Loren Holmes / ADN archives)

Caroline Kurgat, a who in a 12-month span ran to four NCAA Division II national championships and broke three national records, was named UAA’s athlete of the year for the second straight year.

Kurgat, a senior from Kenya on the track and cross-country teams, received the Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award Friday night at the athletic department’s all-sport banquet at Lucy Cuddy Hall.

She’s the fourth two-time winner of the award, presented annually since 1985. Others are runner Micah Chelimo (2013, 2014) , runner/skier Tobias Schwoerer (2002, 2003) and gymnast Teri Frankie (1986, 1990).

Among Kurgat’s achievements in the last 12 months are three record-setting track performances. During the 2019 indoor season, she set Division II national records in the 3,000 meters (9 minutes, 7.05 seconds) and the 5,000 meters (15:28.46), and last month at an outdoor meet she set the Division II record in the 10,000 meters (32:28.57).

She collected four national titles during the same span, winning the 10,000 and 5,000 at last year’s Division II outdoor championships and taking the 3,000 and 5,000 titles at this year’s indoor championships. She has a total of five national titles — she won the NCAA Division II cross country championship in 2017 — and could add to that total at next month’s outdoor track championships.

Other Athlete of the Year nominees were Chris Brake (men’s outdoor track & field), Tyler Brimhall (men’s basketball), Emmah Chelimo (women’s cross country), Sophia Hyderally (gymnastics), Chrisalyn Johnson (volleyball), Drew Johnson (men’s indoor track & field), Wesley Kirui (men’s cross country), Nils Rygaard (hockey), Liam Wallace (men’s skiing), Hannah Wandersee (women’s basketball) and Casey Wright (women’s skiing).

The award is voted upon by a committee comprised of athletic department staff members, local media and Benton Bay booster club representatives.

Wright, a cross-country skier from Australia, was one of the night’s other major award winners, along with skier Michaela Keller-Miller and heptathlete Yvone Jeschke. They shared the Dresser Cup academic award — all having 4.0 grade-point averages. It was the second straight Dresser Cup award for Wright, a health science major.

Team MVPs and other awards were also handed out at Friday’s banquet:

Women’s basketball

Co-MVPs — Hannah Wandersee and Tara Thompson. Most Inspirational — Sydni Stallworth. Most Improved — Tennae Voliva.

Men’s basketball

MVP — Tyler Brimhall. Most Improved — Sjur Berg. Most Inspirational — Matt Seymour. Best Defensive Player — Brian Pearson. Most Charges — Brennan Rymer.

Gymnastics

MVP — Sophia Hyderally. Most Improved — Rachel Decious. Seawolf Spirit — Sofie Riley.

Skiing

Women’s MVP — Casey Wright. Men’s MVP — Sigurd Roenning.

Most Improved (Alpine) — Kristina Natalenko. Most Improved (Nordic) — Michaela Keller-Miller. Most Inspirational — Liam Wallace.

Volleyball

MVP — Chrisalyn Johnson. Most Improved — Anjoilyn Vreeland. Most Inspirational — Chrisalyn Johnson. Best Defensive Player — Taylor Noga. Coaches’ Award — Taylor Noga.

Bill MacKay Athletes of the Year

2019 — Caroline Kurgat (track)

2018 — Caroline Kurgat (cross country)

2017 — Morgan Hooe (volleyball)

2016 — Megan Mullings (women’s basketball)

2015 — Cody Thomas (track and field)

2014 — Micah Chelimo (track, cross country)

2013 — Micah Chelimo (track, cross country)

2012 — Taylor Rohde (men’s basketball)

2011 — Ruth Keino (cross country, track)

2010 — Calli Scott (volleyball)

2009 — David Registe (track and field)

2008 — Luke Cooper (men’s basketball)

2007 — Rebecca Kielpinski (women’s basketball)

2006 — Kemmy Burgess (men’s basketball)

2005 — Mandy Kaempf (skiing/cross country)

2004 — Peter Bullock(men’s basketball)

2003 — Tobias Schwoerer (skiing/cross country)

2002 — Tobias Schwoerer (skiing/cross country)

2001 — Ed Kirk (men’s basketball)

2000 — Edda Mutter (skiing)

1999 — Jim Hajdukovich (men’s basketball)

1998 — Zuzana Razusova (women’s skiing)

1997 — tie: Frode Lillefjell (skiing/cross country) and Elena Tkacheva (gymnastics)

1996 — Allegra Stoetzel (women’s basketball)

1995 — tie: Jason Kaiser (men’s basketball and Karen Hoey (gymnastics)

1994 — Kerry Robitaille (gymnastics)

1993 — Jen Szczerbinski (volleyball)

1992 — Jon Pauole (swimming)

1991 — Paul Krake (hockey)

1990 — Teri Frankie (gymnastics)

1989 — Michael Johnson (men’s basketball)

1988 — Robin Graul (women’s basketball)

1987 — Hansi Gnad (men’s basketball)

1986 — Teri Frankie (gymnastics)

1985 — Tiina Kantola (women’s skiing/cross country)


Dresser Cup Award Winners

2019 — Michaela Keller-Miller (skiing); Yvonne Jeschke (track and field); Casey Wright (skiing)

2018 — Olivier Mantha (hockey); Casey Wright (skiing)

2017 — Olivier Mantha (hockey)

2016 — Marie-Sophie Boggasch (gymnastics); Simone Penker (gymnastics)

2015 — Anna Berecz (skiing)

2014 — Teancum Stafford (men’s basketball)

2013 — Ida Bjerka (skiing)

2012 — Jaime Bronga (skiing)

2011 — Jaime Bronga (skiing)

2010 — Max Treinen (skiing)

2009 — Raphael Wunderle (skiing)

2008 — Heather McIntyre (track)

2007 — Mandy Kaempf (skiing)

2006 — Stacy Edwards (cross country)

2005 — Stacy Edwards (track)

2004 — Stacy Edwards (track)

2003 — Tobias Schwoerer (skiing/cross country)

2002 — Tiffany Massey (volleyball)

2001 — Jason Feeken (skiing); Stephanie Johnson (women’s basketball)

2000 — Jana Jagercikova (skiing)

1999 — Morten Kjerland (skiing)

1998 — Steve Carroll (cross country)

1997 — Elena Tkacheva (gymnastics)

1996 — John Smith (cross country)

1995 -— Jens Beck (swimming)

1994 — Wendi Jobe (women’s basketball)

1993 — Tommy Rutledge (cross country)

1992 — Danicia Thomas (volleyball)

1991 — Greta Fadness (women’s basketball)

1990 — Carroll Pope (cross country)

1989 — Carroll Pope (cross country)

1988 — John Davis (cross country)

1987 — Kristena Wyatt (skiing)

1986 — Chriss Homan (hockey)

1985 — Tiina Kantola (skiing, cross country)

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.

Comments