Kurgat Leads Four Academic All-District Women's Track Picks
GNAC Selections (Clockwise From Top): Caroline Kurgat (Alaska Anchorage), Anna Paradee (Western Washington), Jasmine McMullin (Western Washington) and Scout Cai (Seattle Pacific).
GNAC Selections (Clockwise From Top): Caroline Kurgat (Alaska Anchorage), Anna Paradee (Western Washington), Jasmine McMullin (Western Washington) and Scout Cai (Seattle Pacific).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – She is not only a national champion on the track, but she is also a champion in the classroom.

On the heels of picking up two national championships in the distances at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Alaska Anchorage’s Caroline Kurgat leads a total of four GNAC athletes named to the Google Cloud Division II Academic All-District 8 Women’s Track/Cross Country Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Joining Kurgat with selection to the team is Seattle Pacific sophomore Scout Cai and Western Washington seniors Jasmine McMullin and Anna Paradee.

Kurgat, who has a 3.58 cumulative grade point average as a medical lab tech and nursing major, has established herself as one of the top women’s distance runners in the history of Division II. The USTFCCCA Division II Women’s Athlete and Scholar-Athlete of the Year during the cross country season, Kurgat swept all three championship races. She won the GNAC Championships by 56 seconds, the NCAA West Regional by 38 seconds and the Division II championship by 20 seconds.

After winning GNAC championships indoors in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters, Kurgat went on to collect Division II outdoor championships in both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Her GNAC record of 32:33.24 in the 10,000 meters, run at March’s Stanford Invitational, is the second-best time in Division II history while her time of 15:41.21 in the 5,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational is the third-fastest in Division II history.

Cai, who has a 3.67 GPA as an exercise science major, continues to impress in the multi-events. The sophomore won the indoor pentathlon at February’s GNAC Indoor Championships with 3,610 points and her season-best of 3,790 points, which placed 16th at the NCAA Indoor Championships, is No. 3 on the GNAC All-Time List. Cai placed second in the heptathlon at the GNAC Combined Event Championships with 5,017 points and went on to place ninth at the NCAA Championships.

In addition to the heptathlon, Cai finished third in the high jump and pole vault, placed 10th in the long jump and ran on the Falcons’ third-place 4x400-meter relay team at the GNAC Outdoor Championships.

McMullin, who has a 4.00 GPA as she pursues graduate studies in elementary education, capped her collegiate career with an outstanding indoor season in the horizontal jumps. She won both the long jump and triple jump at the GNAC Indoor Championships. Her winning mark of 41 feet, 7.25 inches, in the triple jump set a GNAC record. McMullin earned All-American honors with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a mark of 41 feet, 1.5 inches.

Paradee, who has a 3.83 GPA in kinesiology, capped her senior season with her second trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the pole vault. The senior placed second at the GNAC Championships, which finished in a jump-off with Central Washington’s Halle Irvine. She won the event in three of her first five meets of the season and vaulted a season-best of 13 feet, 0.25 inches, at the WWU Quad Meet in April.

With selection to the Academic All-District Team, the four athletes will now be considered for selection to the Google Cloud Division II Academic All-America Team, which will be announced on Wed., June 20.

Nominees to the Academic All-District 8 Team come from the West’s three Division II conferences: the GNAC, the California Collegiate Athletic Association and the PacWest Conference. To be nominated, an athlete must be of sophomore standing or higher, be a starter or important reserve player on their team, must be in their second year at the nominating school and have a cumulative GPA or 3.30 or higher.