Seawolves Top Dominant GNAC Day At Women's Regionals
The Seawolves claimed their fifth West Regional championship and earned their 11th consecutive trip to the national meet.
The Seawolves claimed their fifth West Regional championship and earned their 11th consecutive trip to the national meet.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. – Alaska Anchorage left no doubt as to who the top women’s team in the West Region is.

With a bevy of experience at the regional level and a dominant individual victory by junior Emmah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage cruised to the team title at the NCAA Division II Women’s West Regional Cross Country Championships at Amend Park. The Seawolves won the title with a score of 66 points to earn the program’s 11th consecutive trip to the Division II National Championships.

Chelimo became the fourth Seawolves’ women’s athlete to win the individual title during the GNAC era and the third in the last four years. She covered the snowy 6,000-meter course in a time of 20:57.47. Her teammate, sophomore Nancy Jeptoo, placed second in 21:08.65. The win gives Chelimo the second leg of a cross country triple crown after winning the GNAC Championships two weeks ago.

The Seawolves led a very strong day for the GNAC, which placed five teams in the top-10. Simon Fraser joined Alaska Anchorage as an automatic team qualifier for nationals, placing second with 85 points to outdistance third-place Chico State by three points. Seattle Pacific finished fourth with 182 points. Western Washington was fifth with 187 points while Central Washington placed 10th with 256 points.

The Seawolves placed four of their five scoring runners in the top-15 with all earning All-West Region honors. Senior Zennah Jepchumba placed sixth in 21:23.02 while senior Danielle McCormick finished 11th in a time of 21:35.66.

The Clan saw three of its runners earn All-West Region honors. Sophomore Olivia Willett placed fourth with a time of 21:18.31. Freshman Sophia Kaiser placed seventh in 21:26.04 and senior Addy Townsend placed 13th in a time of 21:41.21.

Central Washington sophomore Nicole Soleim earned one of the region’s two automatic individual qualifying berths for nationals, placing fifth in a time of 21:19.03. Senior Alexa Shindruk placed with a time of 21:27.52 and will wait until Monday to see if she earns an at-large selection to the national meet.

Seattle Pacific saw three athletes earn All-West Region awards. Junior Kate Lilly placed 10th in a time of 21:34.11 as the GNAC placed eight runners in the top-10. Freshman Kaylee Mitchell placed 16th in a time of 21:43.05 and junior Katherine Walter was 19th in a time of 21:43.93.

Western Washington sophomore Jane Barr also earned all-region honors, placing 24th in a time of 21:50.86.

At Amend Park, Billings, Mont.
Team Scores:
Alaska Anchorage 66 (automatic team qualifier), Simon Fraser 85 (automatic team qualifier), Chico State 88 (automatic team qualifier), Seattle Pacific 182, Western Washington 187, Point Loma 188, Azusa Pacific 189, Stanislaus State 205, Cal State San Marcos 210, Central Washington 256, Academy of Art 280, Cal State San Bernardino 340, Cal Poly Pomona 345, UC San Diego 360, Cal State East Bay 365, Humboldt State 402, Northwest Nazarene 451, Western Oregon 497, San Francisco St. 558, Fresno Pacific 573, Concordia (Calif.) 574, Concordia (Ore.) 628, Montana State Billings 625, Sonoma State 677, Cal State LA 692, Saint Martin’s 828. Incomplete: Alaska, Cal State Monterey Bay, Notre Dame de Namur.

Top 10 Finishers (All-West Region): 1, Emmah Chelimo, UAA, 20:57.47. 2, Nancy Jeptoo, UAA, 21:08.65. 3, Eileen Stressling, APU, 21:13.98 (automatic individual qualifier). 4, Olivia Willett, SFU, 21:18.31. 5, Nicole Soleim, CWU, 21:19.03 (automatic individual qualifier). 6, Zennah Jepchumba, UAA, 21:23.02. 7, Sophia Kaiser, SFU, 21:26.04. 8, Alexa Shindruk, CWU, 21:27.52. 9, Hannah Benoit-Bucher, PLNU, 21:30.04. 10, Kate Lilly, SPU, 21:34.11.

Top-25 GNAC Finishers (All-West Region): 11, Danielle McCormick, UAA, 21:35.66. 13, Addy Townsend, SFU, 21:41.21. 16, Kaylee Mitchell, SPU, 21:43.05. 19, Katherine Walter, SPU, 21:43.05. 24, Jane Barr, WWU, 21:50.86.