LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UNCG junior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) earned his second straight All-America honor after placing 10th overall in the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships held at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park Saturday in Louisville. Chelimo is the only runner in UNCG cross country history to earn All-American honors and improved his finish three spots from last year's national championship race (13th).
Chelimo, who has been battling an injury for the past month, battled valiantly in the penultimate race of the season to finish in the top 10 of the country. His time of 29:29.80 set a new UNCG program-record in the 10,000-meter race, surpassing his previous top marks by almost seven seconds. He tallied a time of 29:36.51 in the NCAA Southeast Regional this year and a 29:39.0 in the NCAA championships last year.
Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka took the national title with a new-course record time of 28:31.30 to finish ahead of the Arizona duo of Lawi Lalang and Stephen Sambu who finished second and third with times of 28:38.60 and 28:51.80, respectively. Oklahoma State claimed the team title with a score of 72, while Wisconsin finished second with a score of 135.
Sophomore Paul Katam
(Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) made his first career appearance in the NCAA National Championships and placed 77th
overall in the race. Katam turned in a time of 30:33.30 on the 10,000-meter course gaining valuable experience in the national championship race.
The 2012 cross country season marked the second straight year that UNCG has sent two runners to the NCAA National Championship. Last year, Chelimo was joined by former Spartan Joey Thompson in the race. The Spartans have only sent multiple runners to the race twice in program history. Additionally, Chelimo became the first Spartan to win Southern Conference Runner of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons.
- UNCG -