Updated: May 10, 2019
Felix Kemboi: The Sleeper
Throughout this season Felix Kemboi of Alaska Anchorage has dropped some strong marks in the 800, 1500, and 5000. This is no secret for many of his conference rivals because Kemboi is currently ranked #7 in the 800, #3 in the 1500, and #2 in the 5000 in the conference. The Seawolf ace has unique range with personal bests of 1:54.21 in the 800 and 14:28.84 in the 5000 (which is a provisional time). What is also extremely impressive is his provisional time of 3:50.63 in the 1500. Kemboi has the range to do it all, so I would not be surprised to see him claim a couple of conference titles this weekend. Don't sleep on this UAA star...
McCormick vs Mussatto: Part 2
At Indoor Nationals, Danielle McCormick of Alaska Anchorage and Alana Mussa tto of Simon Fraser were set to compete in heat two of the 800 preliminaries. The result for McCormick was her winning the section and advancing to the finals where she earned the bronze medal. Things were quite different for Mussatto, as she placed 3rd in the heat and did not advance to the final. This result did not faze her one bit as Mussatto has progressively dropped her time throughout this outdoor season. At the Bryan Clay Invitational, she set a personal best of 2:07.83 in the event, earning her the #6 fastest time in the NCAA. The story is fairly the same for McCormick who has put down a blistering time of 2:05.00 this spring. This ranks McCormick #3 overall in the NCAA. Mussatto definitely has a chip on her shoulder as we get to see part two of this newly generated rivalry which could give us a handful of fast times.
Complete Dominance: Caroline Kurgat
Surely by now everyone in D2 has heard of Alaska Anchorage’s super star runner Caroline Kurgat. She recently broke the 31 year-old NCAA DII record in the 10,000 with an unheard time of 32:08.00. Her dominance, however, does not stop there as she also holds the national record in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:28.46. Kurgat is considered one of the best distance runners’ ever in the NCAA DII history. She sits atop the GNAC leaderboard and will likely secure as many conference titles as she wants. However, if she chooses to preserve herself for NCAA's and only race the 5000 or the 10,000, then she'll open the door for a new face to earn a conference title.
A Chance at a Sweep
The men from Western Washington can do something special in the 10,000 meters this weekend. Jadon Olson, Bentley Wilson, and Edward Kiolbasa each rank #2 (31:23.74), #3 (31:34.80), and #4 (31:38.74) in the conference for this event. The trio’s time are not far apart, as only 15 seconds separate the three men. With the conference leader Nickson Koech of Alaska Anchorage pacing the way with a time of 31:02.62, the Western Washington teammates will have to work together and utilize strong pack running in order to complete the sweep.
Edwin Kangogo’s Validation
In running, as well as any sport, it is very difficult to return to competition after a year of absence. Yet, for Edwin Kangogo of Alaska Anchorage, this has been a relatively easy task. Missing the 2018 season has not affected Kangogo at all, as he has set personal bests in the 1500 and 3000 steeple in 2019. The most compelling performance that we've seen from him so far is his 8:56.08 in the steeplechase. That time is currently the #7 fastest time in the NCAA. Although he has performed at a high level during the regular season, GNAC's will be a great opportunity to show that he can still be a contender on the championship stage. If he does well enough this weekend, he'll likely ride that momentum towards an All-American finish at NCAA's.