Indoor Track & Field Heads To SoCon Championships This Weekend In Winston-Salem 02-22-2013

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG indoor track and field teams take part in the 2013 Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem Saturday and Sunday. This marks the third time this season that the Spartans have run on the JDL Fast Track and the first time since 1953 the SoCon championships will be held in the state of North Carolina.

On the women's side, junior Chelsea Sumney (Washington, Pa./Trinity) highlights the Spartans as the top qualifier in the 5,000-meter distance. Sumney owns the top time in the conference at 16:50.84 set at the Flotrack Husky Classic and her time is three seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Last season, she posted a runner-up finish at the SoCon championships in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 16:51.25.

The Spartans also own the second-fastest time in the women's distance medley relay event. UNCG posted its top time of 12:06.44 earlier this season at the JDL Fast Track setting the facility record at the Hilton Garden Invitational. The Spartans won the event by a staggering 23 seconds over their nearest competitor and only Samford has notched a better time this year.

Junior Shannon Hall (Waldorf, Md./North Point) rounds out the Spartans' top qualifiers heading into the weekend. Hall owns the 13th best time in the 800-meter race this year at 2:17.62. She set her time on the JDL Fast Track at the Wake Forest Invitational.

The men's program is headlined by junior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) and sophomore Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho). Both Chelimo and Katam will run the 3,000-meter race Saturday and the 5,000-meter race on Sunday. In both races they will be vying for SoCon titles as well as NCAA qualifying times.

In the 3,000-meter race, Chelimo owns the top time in the SoCon this season at 8:06.71 set at the Flotrack Husky Classic in Seattle. His time is almost five seconds faster than his nearest competitor, which is Katam, and over nine seconds faster than his nearest non-UNCG competitor. Last year, Chelimo earned All-America honors in the 3,000-meter distance when he placed fourth at the national championship with a time of 7:50.26.

Katam enters the weekend as the second seed in the 3,000-meter race. He posted his top time this year of 8:11.56 at the Hokie Invitational, which was a personal-best time.

In the 5,000-meter race, Katam owns the top time in the SoCon this year with a personal-best mark of 14:04.03, set at the Flotrack event. His time is almost eight seconds faster than his nearest competitor. Chelimo will be running his first 5,000-meter race of the season as he has been slowly returning from injury. He owns the UNCG and SoCon record in the 5,000-meter distance during the outdoor campaign at 13:21.89 and was an All-America at the distance during the outdoor season finishing as the national runner-up.

Also in the mix for the men's program is a pair of runners at the mile distance. Freshman Joshua Crawford (Fayetteville, N.C./South View) and sophomore Eric Williams (Chapel Hill, N.C./Northwood) own two of the top 25 times in the SoCon this season at the mile distance. Crawford posted his personal-best time of 4:22.68 at the Wake Forest Invitational while Williams turned in his top time at the same event (4:23.91).

- UNCG -



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