UAA Track Treks the U.S., Earns Team of the Week
UAA senior Ivy O'Guinn was among the Seawolves' All-Americans at last week's NCAA Indoor Championships, as her DMR team placed fourth.
UAA senior Ivy O'Guinn was among the Seawolves' All-Americans at last week's NCAA Indoor Championships, as her DMR team placed fourth.

Monday, March 17, 2014
by Evan O'Kelly, Media Relations Assistant

PORTLAND, Ore. – From Fullerton, Calif., to Salem, N.C., the Alaska Anchorage track and field team ran wild last week, with nine total All-Americans emerging from the Seawolves’ squad after the NCAA Indoor Championships concluded Saturday.

“We had both coasts covered,” UAA head coach Michael Friess said regarding his team’s split between indoor and outdoor track over the weekend. “We were all over the country last week, and we were very proud of the way all of our athletes performed.”

For its accomplishments, UAA's track and field team has been named the GNAC Team of the Week.

Taking home the biggest prize of all for UAA was senior Micah Chelimo, who outlasted Kevin Batt of Adams State to win the men’s 3,000 meters by .01 seconds.

“Micah’s performance was really inspirational,” Friess said regarding Chelimo’s second NCAA individual title and fourth All-American award of his career. “He is a generational athlete, and you only have the chance to coach a few of those in your career.”

Among the other UAA athletes earning All-American honors were Karolin Anders in the pentathlon, Joyce Kipchumba in the women’s 3,000 and 5,000 meters, and each of the team’s fourth-place Distance Medley Relay women’s runners (Susan Bick, Haleigh Lloyd, Jessica Pahkala and Ivy O'Guinn).

“Joyce came in and has had a tremendous improvement all year long for us,” Friess said regarding the transfer from American International University. “She was an All-American for us in cross country as well, and for her to receive that honor in both the 3k and 5k is fun to see.”

After winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships title in the pentathlon, Anders scored 3,775 points last weekend to finish fourth on the national stage. “Karolin climbed another rung for us in the multi events, and she is certainly more competitive than she was last year,” Friess commented on the sophomore’s performance. “She had a great showing at the GNAC meet, and to see her come out and do even better at nationals was wonderful.”

Earning All-American honors for the second year in a row, UAA’s DMR squad followed its GNAC-winning performance with a fourth-place finish last weekend. “Three of those runners were on our cross-country team that finished fourth nationally in the fall,” Friess said referring to O’Guinn, Bick, and Pahkala. “They were struggling a bit at the beginning of the season, but they responded well and brought home a great performance at the national meet.

While the Seawolves were racking up indoor awards on the East Coast, members of UAA’s squad who remained in the Western United States produced impressive outdoor results as well. 

Among provisional national qualifiers were Isaac Kangogo in the men’s 1,500 meters (3:49.60), Dylan Anthony in the men’s 5,000 meters (14:35.73), Elliott Bauer in the 400 meter hurdles (53.61), Rosie Smith in the 100 meter hurdles (14.440), and the Seawolves’ women’s 4x100 relay team (47.11).

“We have certainly been happy with this year so far, but we want to keep climbing the ladder,” Friess said regarding his team’s success in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track. “We have to appreciate the runners we have now, and at the same time strive to continue to recruit and build towards the future.”