Chelimo & Katam Head To The Golden State For Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG junior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) and sophomore Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) head to the Golden State this weekend for the 18th annual Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational hosted by Stanford at the Cobb Track and Angell Field Sunday. Both are slated to run the 5,000-meter race late Sunday evening between 8:00-9:00 p.m. (PT), with live scoring and video provided by Stanford with links on www.uncgspartans.com
The meet is the nation's premier track and field event for long-distance runners. It is used as the premier early-season domestic meet used to establish World Championship or Olympic qualifying marks, and, for collegians, to secure spots in the NCAA Regionals. Last season, the 5,000-meter race saw four of the seven top American times and 13 of the top 50 run at the event, while this season already has four of the top 10 runners ranked in the 2012 Track and Field News U.S. Top 10.
Chelimo is slated to be one of just five collegians in the top heat of the 5,000-meter race Sunday that includes 24 total runners. Last season, he finished eighth overall at the meet and was the top collegian finisher when he set a personal-record at 13:21.89. His time was the first-ever Olympic B standard time in UNCG history and set the school-record in the event falling less than two seconds off the Olympic A qualifying time of 13:20.00.
This season, Chelimo owns the seventh best time in the nation in the 5,000-meter distance and the third best time in the East Region with a 13:42.03 set earlier this season on the Stanford track. He has the top time this year of all five collegians running in the top heat. His personal-best time of 13:21.89 is the top career time among the collegians in the first heat that include Maverick Darling of Wisconsin (13:49.25-PR), Diego Estrada of Northern Arizona (13:26.94-PR), Eric Jenkins of Northeastern (14:09.67-PR) and Mexico Olympian Girma Mechseo of Oklahoma State (13:34.83).
Additionally, the top heat includes Canadian Olympian Cam Levins, who narrowly beat Chelimo in the NCAA Championships last season by less than one second. Also running in the heat is Olympic sixth-place steeplechase finisher Evan Jager, American 10,000 record-holder Chris Solinsky, two-time NCAA cross country champion Sam Chelanga, U.S. Road Mile Champion Garrett Heath and U.S. record-holder in the mile Alan Webb.
Katam will be running in the third heat of the night in the 5,000-meter distance, his first race of this distance for the 2013 outdoor season. He owns a personal-record time of 14:04.56 in outdoor track set last season at the Virginia Challenge and recorded the Spartans' top indoor time of the season at 5,000-meters of 14:04.03 at the Flotrack Husky Classic.
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