Kurgat earns second straight Athlete of the Year honor

Caroline Kurgat races at the 2019 NCAA DII National Indoor Track and Field Championships. Photo by Reid Williams / Pittsburg State University.

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - For the second straight year, Caroline Kurgat was named University of Alaska Anchorage’s Bill McKay Athlete of the Year.

Kurgat becomes just the fourth Seawolf to earn the award twice, joining Teri Frankie (gymnastics 1986 & 1990), Tobias Schwoerer (cross country/skiing, 2002 & 2003) and Micah Chelimo (cross country/track & track field 2013 & 2014).

At the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Charlotte, NC, Kurgat won a pair of national championships. She won the 10,000 title by 36 seconds, and two days later won the 5,000 by more than 11 seconds.

During the 2019 indoor season, she set all-time NCAA Div. II records in the 3,000 and 5,000 at 9:07.05 and 15:28.46, respectively.

Kurgat won her fourth national title – her first in indoor track – in the 5,000 by setting a new championship meet record time of 16:06.37. The following day, she captured the 3,000 title in a record time of 9:15.45.

Her success has not gone unnoticed.

For her efforts, Kurgat has earned the Collegiate Women’s Sports Honda Award, Google Cloud Academic All-American, USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Pride of Alaska Award for outstanding athletic achievement from the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

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