Chelimo & Katam Turn In Impressive Performances At Payton Jordan Invitational
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG junior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) and sophomore Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) each posted impressive showings in the 5,000-meter races at the 18th annual Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational hosted by Stanford at the Cobb Track and Angell Field Sunday. The meet is the nation's premier track and field event for long-distance runners.
Chelimo and Katam both turned in sub-14:00 minute times in the 5,000-meter race and are the only two Spartans in program history to crack the 14-minute threshold. Chelimo has accomplished the feat multiple times while Katam joined him for the first time Sunday, setting a new personal-record.
Chelimo ran in the top heat of the 5,000-meter distance, a heat that included multiple Olympians, U.S. record-holders and just five collegians in the 24-man race. He finished 19th overall with his third-fastest time of his career, turning in a time of 13:36.27, which is also his fastest time of the season. His time this year is only behind two top times set last year, both at Stanford, including his career-best time of 13:21.89, which was an Olympic B standard time.
Chelimo's time is the sixth fastest time of any collegian in NCAA Division I this season and the second fastest time in the East Region. He trimmed five seconds off his previous top time this season set earlier this year on the same track at the Stanford Invitational (13:42.03). Ben True, running for Saucony, won the event with a time of 13:14.44, out-touching Evan Jager of Nike at 13:14.60. Northern Arizona's Diego Estrada, a Mexican Olympian, placed third with the top collegiate time this season of 13:15.33.
Sophomore Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) became the second Spartan in program history to post a sub-14:00 minute 5,000-meter time as he won Heat No. 3 Sunday. Katam posted a career-best time of 13:57.00, besting Phillip Reid of Asics Aggie team who place second in a time of 13:58.26. He defeated 17 other runners in his heat that included both fellow collegians and professionals as he trimmed over seven seconds off his previous top time of 14:04.56, set last season at the Virginia Challenge. His time of 13.57.00 would be 12th fastest time in the East Region this year based on times entering the weekend.
- UNCG -