GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG track alum and standout Paul Chelimo added another highlight to his career late Friday night as he won the U.S. National Outdoor Championship in the 5,000-meter race, dominating the field and qualifying for the World Championships in London in next month. Chelimo has been one of the best runners in the 5,000-meter distance since claiming the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Chelimo dominated the field to win the men's 5,000 meters by over seven seconds in a meet-record 13:08.62, eclipsing Tim Broe‘s 13:12.76 which has stood since 2005. Chelimo's win was similar to the 10-second victory he posted in the two-mile at the USATF Indoor Championships in March, but unlike that race, where Chelimo went out in dead last before pushing the pace, Chelimo took it from the gun Friday, running his first lap in just over 60 seconds to break away early.
Chelimo rank 13:08, solo, in a championship race run in the 80-degree weather, after going out in the first 60 seconds. The rest of the field had no option to let him go because he is the best 5,000-meter runner in the country currently. Eric Jenkins and Ryan Hill were second and third, respectively, in times of 13:15.74 and 13:16.99.
Chelimo's time marked the second-fastest 5,000-meter of Chelimo's career, behind only his silver medal performance of 13:03.9 in Rio. The win is also his first career U.S. outdoor title. He won his first-ever U.S. title in the two mile at this March's USATF Indoor Championships.
-- UNCG --