Chelimo Wins Second Straight NCAA East Regional Title In 5,000-Meters
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG junior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) won his second straight NCAA East Preliminary Round title in the 5,000-meter distance as he took the lead just 1,000 meters into the race and never faltered, winning by over 10 seconds Saturday night at the Belk Track at Aggie Stadium on the campus of N.C. A&T.
Chelimo advances to the NCAA Championships for the second straight season, which will be held June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. He also now owns two of the Spartans' four Regional titles in program history, with fellow Kenyan Paul Katam owning two in the 10,000-meter race. UNCG has posted back-to-back titles in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter distances in the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Chelimo won the 5,000-meter race with a time of 13:49.94 as he took the lead 1,000-meters into the race and extended it throughout the final 4,000-meters. He won his heat of the 5,000-meter by over 10 seconds as Mark Amirault of Virginia finished second with a time of 14:00.54 while Sam Masters of Penn State was second at 14:00.84. The second heat of the race saw Eric Jenkins of Northeastern, the pre-race top qualifier, finish first with a time of 14:05.25.
Chelimo, who entered the race with the 10th-fastest time in the nation and second fastest time in the region, won last year's NCAA East Regional with a time of 14:00.51 in the hot weather at Jacksonville. He finished as the national runner-up in the NCAA Championships with a time of 13:41.04, earning First Team All-America accolades and finishing less than one second out of the top spot.
- UNCG -