Paul Chelimo Set For 5,000-Meter National Championship Race Saturday
EUGENE, Ore. – UNCG junior runner Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) will vie for a shot at a National Championship Saturday as he is one of 24 runners in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track National Championship 5,000-meter race at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Chelimo is set to race Saturday at 6:23 p.m. (ET) and his race can be seen on ESPN3 or the Watch ESPN App.
Chelimo will be making his second appearance in the National Championships for outdoor track after earning First Team All-America honors last year in Iowa. He finished as the National Runner-Up in the pinnacle race of the season, finishing less than one second out of the top spot as he posted a time of 13:41.04, finishing behind Cameron Levins of Southern Utah (13:40.05). His national runner-up performance was the Spartans' best finish in program history, which was matched Thursday by fellow countryman Paul Katam in the 10,000-meter race.
Chelimo qualified for this year's National Championship race by winning the NCAA East Preliminary Round championship for the second straight year. He posted a time of 13:49.94, which ranked fifth fastest time in the two qualifying rounds.
Chelimo enters the race as the sixth rated runner in the 5,000-meter distance having posted a time of 13:36.27 at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Diego Estrada of Northern Arizona, who is also a Mexican Olympian, owns the top time recorded this season with a 13:15.33 at the Payton Jordan while Eric Jenkins of Northeastern was second in the same race with a time of 13:18.57. Arizona's Lawi Lalang, who won the 10,000-meter race Thursday, will also run the 5,000-meter race and owns a time of 13:40.85 this year.
Chelimo set a personal-best and a school-record in the 5,000-meter distance last season when he recorded a time of 13:21.89 at the Payton Jordan on the campus of Stanford.
For updates on Chelimo's quest for the National Championship, follow @uncgsports and @uncgxc on Twitter.
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