Chelimo Wins SoCon Cross Country Individual Title, Team Places Third 10-26-2012


MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – UNCG junior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) claimed his second straight Southern Conference men's cross country championship individual title winning the 2012 SoCon Championships in a time of 23:42.22 to lead the Spartans to a third place overall finish at the at the Laurel Hill Plantation Saturday morning.

"The men ran very tough today and unfortunately, we just didn't accomplish our goal coming in," head coach Linh Nguyen said. "I give a lot of credit to the guys on the team for racing hard and leaving it all out on the course. As a coach, you can't ask more from your athletes than that they give their best effort and I know that's what our team did today. Although we fell short, I feel very positive about our future and the motivation our guys have from today."
Chelimo was named the Southern Conference Runner of the Year for the second straight season. Last year, he became the Spartans' first ever winner of the SoCon Championship. He has ran the three fastest times of the season by any SoCon runner, including his time of 23:42.22 mark this morning which ranked third on the year for him. He won the SoCon Championships by 15 seconds over his closest competitor and by 53 seconds over his closest non-UNCG competitor.
Classmate and fellow countryman Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) placed second in the league championship race, posting a time of 23:57.50 in the 8,000-meter distance. Katam, the reigning SoCon Freshman of the Year, improved his position by two spots over last season when he finished fourth overall.
The Spartans finished in third place overall as a team with 93 total points. Appalachian State won the team championship with 63 points total as all five of its counting finishes were in the top 20. Chattanooga just edged out the Spartans for second place, notching 91 total points.
Junior Abraham Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kipkabus) was the Spartans' third Top 10 finisher, placing ninth overall with a time of 25:09.00. UNCG's other counting times came from freshman Josh Crawford (Fayetteville, N.C./South View) and Dylan Belles (Denver, N.C./East Lincoln). Crawford finished 38th overall posting a new personal-best time 26:16.17 while Belles came in with a time of 26:28.72 to finish 43rd overall. Crawford cut 38 seconds off his top time, set earlier this season at the Elon Invitational (26:54.0).
Southern Conference Championships Team Scores
1. Appalachian State, 63 points; 2. Chattanooga, 91; 3. UNCG, 93, 4. Davidson 97; 5. Furman 129; 6. Western Carolina, 151; 7. Samford, 152; 8. Elon, 169; 9. The Citadel, 220; 10. Wofford, 303.
UNCG Individuals Times
1. Paul Chelimo, 23:42.22
2. Paul Katam, 23:57.50
9. Abraham Kemboi, 25:09.00
38. Josh Crawford, 26:16.17
43. Dylan Belles, 26:28.72
54. Tyron Alston, 26:49.64
59. Brandon Cain, 27:00.12

- UNCG -


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