Seawolves Sweep Indoor Titles, Awarded Team Of The Week
Karolin Anders was named the Outstanding Performer of the Meet on the women's side while Dominik Notz won the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Photo by Loren Orr.
Karolin Anders was named the Outstanding Performer of the Meet on the women's side while Dominik Notz won the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Photo by Loren Orr.

Monday, February 22, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Led by dominant performances in the distance events, Alaska Anchorage took home both the men’s and women’s GNAC Indoor Track and Field titles on Sat., Feb. 20 at the Jacksons Indoor Center in Nampa, Idaho, earning the GNAC's Red Lion Team of the Week award.

The Seawolves became the first team to win both titles since the inception of the conference indoor championships in 2004, sweeping the meet with matching 164 point totals.

“The conference is very competitive as shown in the results,” said head coach Michael Friess. “For us to be fortunate enough to come out with wins on both sides is really an honor. We felt good about performances this week and hopefully this propels us forward to the national meet.”

Karolin Anders helped the Alaska Anchorage women’s team reclaim the conference title for the third time in four years. The senior was named the Women’s Outstanding Performer of the Meet after winning the pentathlon and the long jump. Anders also placed third in the triple jump and fourth in the high jump, earning 31 points for her team.

In the pentathlon, Anders hit the top mark in the long jump, high jump and shot put, setting a new GNAC pentathlon record in the long jump with a mark of 18 feet, 8.75 inches. Additionally, Anders became the all-time leading point scorer in the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championship history.

“Not only did she perform in a lot of events, but she performed well,” Friess said. “I think we sometimes underestimate how difficult it is to perform in a multi and then compete in the high jump and the long jump all in the same day. That kind of demand on your legs is really tough and it is a rare athlete that can do it.”

Joyce Chelimo swept the distance events for the Seawolves, placing first in the mile, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. She won both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters in 2014. Caroline Kurgat helped add to the point totals, placing second in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters and third in the mile for 22 more team points.

In the sprints, Jamie Ashcroft racked up 18 more points for the Seawolves, winning the 60-meter dash and placing second in the 200 meters. She also anchored the women’s distance medley relay and 4x400 relay teams to top four finishes.

On the men’s side, it was the combined effort of the distance runners that put the Seawolves over the top in the point totals. Dominik Notz led the group with first place finishes in both the 3,000 meters and the 5,000 meters, narrowly edging out teammate Henry Cheseto for the individual titles in each race.

Michel Ramirez added a third place finish in the mile while placing fourth in the 5,000 meters and fifth in the 3,000 meters. Edwin Kangogo was third in the 5,000 meters and fourth in the 3,000 meters while Victor Samoei helped the Seawolves take the top five spots in the 5k with a fifth place finish. Alaska Anchorage racked up 34 points in the 5,000 meters alone.

The Seawolves also took first place in the final men’s event of the meet, the 4x400 relay. Cody Thomas finished third in the 60-meter dash and the 200 meters while Travis Turner took second place in the pentathlon.

After the conference meet, the Seawolves have a long list of athletes currently qualified for the national championships. Chelimo leads all of Division II in the 3,000 meters, posting her top time of 9 minutes, 17.97 seconds at the Husky Classic. She is also second in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:22.93. Anders is third in the high jump at five feet, eight inches and fifth in the pentathlon with 3,813 points. Ashcroft also ranks 10th in the nation in the 200 meters.

For the men, Thomas is third in the heptathlon with 5,324 points. Cheseto is ranked seventh in the 5,000 meters while Notz is 11th in the 3,000 meters and 19th in the 5,000 meters.

“Our focus right now is just training and being healthy,” Friess said. “If we are well prepared and healthy heading into the national meet, I think our athletes are going to represent themselves, the university and the GNAC at a high level.”

Alaska Anchorage will be at the SPU Final Qualifier on Sat., Feb. 27 before wrapping up its indoor track and field season at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships on Mar. 11 and 12 in Pittsburg, Kan.