Powered by the men’s individual national title from senior Micah Chelimo and a runner-up women’s finish from junior Susan Tanui, the Alaska Anchorage men produced a program-best 3rd-place result, while the women’s team finished sixth Saturday, Nov. 17, at the 2012 NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championships.
The men’s team, which was ranked No. 7 entering the meet, made UAA history, finishing third with 148 points in the 10K race–UAA’s highest team finish ever, topping 8th place showings in 2011 and 2010. Collecting the top team honor was No. 1 ranked Adams State with 34 points, by posting all five of their scorers in the top 15.
On the women’s side, the Seawolves finished sixth in the team standings with 202 points, just two points shy of fifth place Chico State. Grand Valley State raced to the team victory with 101 points.
Chelimo, a senior who was second following the first half split (14:20.7), furnished his second NCAA title and UAA’s first-ever in cross country with a winning time of 28 minutes, 56.6 seconds. A native of Kapkoi, Kenya, Chelimo outdistanced Adams State’s Kevin Batt (29:12.1) by over 15 seconds. The two-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference and West Region cross country champion also won the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Div. II Track & Field Championships in May.
The Seawolves, who also swept the GNAC Championships earlier this season, will go straight into UAA’s first Indoor Track & Field season in January.