GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG senior runner Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) and junior Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) head to the NCAA Cross Country Championship race Saturday afternoon at the LaVern Gbson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The 10,000-meter men’s race will start at noon Saturday with live video available via the NCAA with links at www.uncgspartans.com.
Chelimo, the NCAA Southeast Region Athlete of the Year, will be looking to become a three-time cross country All-America honoree. He is one of just four runners in this year’s NCAA Championships who has already earned multiple cross country All-America honors joining the likes of Tom Farrell of Oklahoma State, Andrew Colley of N.C. State and Shadrack Kipchirchir of Oklahoma State. Additionally, defending national champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech returns as one of the favorites after winning all seven of his races this season.
Chelimo, a three-time Southern Conference Runner of the Year, turned in the nation’s fastest time in the nine NCAA Regional races last weekend. His time of 28:37.21 is the fastest time in UNCG program history. The Southeast Regional race winning time was 46 seconds faster than the second fastest race, the Mountain Regional won by Kithuka.
Last year, Chelimo finished 10th overall at the NCAA Championships with a time of 29:36.51 in Charlotte. As a sophomore, he placed 13th overall in the pinnacle race with a time of 29:39.
Katam will be making his second appearance in the NCAA Championship race. Last year, he finished 77th overall in the 10,000-meter course with a time of 30:33.30.
Katam finished seventh overall at the NCAA Southeast Regional race last weekend with a time of 29:00.90. He was the fourth and final individual qualifier from the region. His time of 29:00.90 set a personal-record, trimming 43 seconds off his previous time of 29:43.62 set at the 2012 NCAA Regionals.