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UNCG to head to pair of meets this weekend

Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com
         
Release: September 28, 2011
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UNCG at Paul Short Run, Sept. 30, Bethlehem, Pa.
UNCG at Hagan Stone XC Classic, Oct. 1, Hagan Stone Park

Storylines:

- After nearly two weeks off from competition, UNCG returns to competition this weekend as the Spartans will run in two meets. Some members of the Spartans will travel to Bethlehem, Pa. on Friday to run at the Paul Short Run, while others will stay in Greensboro to compete in the Hagan Stone XC Classic.

- At the Paul Short Run, the men will run in the gold race beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday with the women's gold race to follow immediately at 11:45 a.m. On Saturday, the men's 8k race will start at 9:30 a.m. and the women's 5k race will begin at 10:15 a.m.

- Running at the Paul Short Run for the Spartan men will be Tyron Alston, Brian Carrington, Paul Chelimo, Paul Katam, Abraham Kemboi, Mike Koech and Joey Thompson. Michelle Chewens, Ginny Cronley, Shannon Hall, Kerry Hartman, Kelly Montague, Ashley Schnell and Chelsea Willette will represent the women's team at the meet.

- The Spartan lineup will be considerably smaller at the Hagan Stone XC Classic on Saturday as Dylan Belles, Taylor Day, Asher Hertzberg, John Teeter and Eric Williams will run for the UNCG men. Ali Cupito, Jade Farlow and Emily Vasquez will be the only runners from the women's team competing on Saturday.

- The Paul Short Run will be one of the most competitive races the Spartans will run in this season. According to the latest USTFCCCA rankings, there will be seven men's teams ranked in the top-25 at the meet, highlighted by No. 4 Oklahoma, and two other teams who are listed as receiving votes. The women's race will be equally competitive as five of the top-16 teams will be at the meet, with No. 1 Georgetown leading the way, while three other teams have receiving votes.

- Two weeks ago, the Spartans had an incredible performance at the Elon Invitational. Paul Chelimo shattered the school record in the 8k by 40 seconds to finish in first with a time of 23:40. The Spartan men had the top four finishers as they ran away with the team title. On the women's side, Ashley Schnell also claimed top individual honors as she bested her own school record by 18 seconds after running the 5k in 17:19.

- For their performances at the Elon Invitational, Chelimo and Schnell were named the Southern Conference men's and women's Runners of the Week. Schnell also earned the SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week award on Sept. 21 as she holds a 4.0 GPA in music.

- On Sept. 3, the Spartans had a great opening weekend as the women placed first and the men earned runner-up honors at the Guilford College XC Carnival. Kelly Montague took top individual honors in the women's race as she was one of six Spartans to finish in the top eight at the meet. On the men's side, Tyron Alston came in second place as all five male runners finish in the top-15.

- Prior to the season, the women's team was picked to finish first in the Southern Conference by the head coaches in the league, while the men's squad was selected to earn runner-up honors. The women picked up 10 of a possible 12 first-place votes as they nearly earned unanimous honors. The men picked up one first-place vote and were picked to finish behind Appalachian State, who has won the SoCon title the past six years.

- The men's team returns many of the runners who helped propel them to a runner-up finish at the 2010 SoCon Championship. Joey Thompson, who was runner-up in the meet and named first-team All-SoCon, returns for his senior season, along with Mike Koech, who also earned first-team All-SoCon honors a season ago.

- The men's squad will add a trio of runners from Kenya that should bolster the Spartan lineup in 2011. Paul Katam, who redshirted the cross country season in 2010, qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 10k during the 2011 outdoor track season and nearly advanced to nationals. Joining the team this year is Paul Chelimo, who was an NAIA All-American in 2010 after finishing in third place at the NAIA National Championship, and Abraham Kemboi who also made it to the NAIA National Championship.

- UNCG returns four runners on the women's team that finished in the top-20 at the 2010 SoCon Championship, highlighted by Ashley Schnell who claimed top honors at the meet and was named the 2010 SoCon Women's Runner of the Year. In addition to Schnell's first-place finish, Shaina Sumney (fourth), Kerry Hartman (15th) and Ginny Cronley (17th) also finished in the top-20. The Spartans will also have the services of Chelsea Sumney this fall as she redshirted the 2010 season with an injury.

- UNCG -

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