ANCHORAGE -

The UAA career of four-time NCAA champion distance runner Micah Chelimo has ended abruptly and painfully.  Chelimo ruptured his Achilles tendon while competing in Friday's 3,000 meter steeplechase at the GNAC track and field championships, according to head Seawolf coach Michael Friess.  The coach said in a press release that Chelimo will require surgery.

Chelimo injured himself on a water hazard halfway through the race and had to be helped off the course.

Chelimo, a senior from Kapkoi, Kenya, is UAA's most decorated runner in school history and one of only three Seawolf athletes in any sport to be honored as UAA Athlete of the Year twice.  Owner of five career GNAC track and field titles, he was aiming to become the all-time leader in points in the history of the conference meet.

UAA did manage a successful day one of competition despite the loss of its star runner. 

Joyce Kipchumba won the women's 10,000 meters in a conference meet record time of 35 minutes, 43 point 88 seconds.  The Seawolf men swept the top three finishers in the men's 10,000 meters, with Victor Samoei prevailing in 31:14.59.

In field events, heptathlon champion Karolin Anders added more points by finishing third in the long jump, while decathlon winner Cody Thomas took fifth in both the long jump and high jump. 

As a team, UAA's men and women stand fourth with one day of competition to go on Saturday.