Chelimo, Schnell win individual races at Panorama Farms Invite
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – UNCG's Paul Chelimo and Ashley Schnell continued their impressive 2011 seasons as they both won individual titles for the Spartans on Friday at the Panorama Farms Invitational.
Chelimo's time of 23:36.05 easily gave him the individual title as he was an amazing 42 seconds ahead of second place. His time also broke his own school record he set earlier this season by four seconds and was the second fastest time in the history of the Panorama Farms Invitational.
Teammate Joey Thompson wasn't far behind as he finished in fourth place in a time of 24:28.59 and Paul Katam also turned in a top-10 performance with a time of 24:35.63 to finish in sixth.
As a team, the Spartans finished in third place behind only host Virginia and Duke.
"Today, we saw some positive things on the men's side, but also some things that we still need to work on," said coach Linh Nguyen. "Paul Chelimo has yet to be challenged in a race. He's very good and won't face competition until we get to the regional meet. Joey (Thompson) and Paul Katam bounced back very well from a rough race at Paul Short. Those two ran great races and gave us the best top 3 in the race. We were close to Duke and UVA and felt coming in that we had a shot to beat one or both if things went well. We have to work to close our gaps after the top 3 guys and bring the 4-7 guys closer to the front. It was a solid day and now we head into the championship part of the season. There's still work to be done."
On the women's side, Schnell won her second individual title of the year by finishing in a time of 21:03.42. That is the third fastest time in school history and was also 10 seconds better than her nearest competition.
Her teammates followed closely as Chelsea Sumney finished in 10th place in her first race of the season in a time of 21:39.77. Her sister, Shaina, was also competing in her first race and ran a 22:06.09 to come in 14th. Kerry Hartman also had a top-20 with her time of 22:11.94 to finish in 16th.
UNCG had a great finish as a team as it came in second place behind only Virginia, who is ranked 16th nationally.
"This was a great day for our women's program," said Nguyen. "Coming in, we felt that UVA just had us out gunned, but we thought we were the next best team in the race. There were two teams ranked ahead of us in the region (ECU and Richmond) that we felt we could beat, as well as the No. 4 team in the South Region (UNF). Our women executed the race plan perfectly and we did exactly what we were looking to do today.
"This was our first race with the full squad and I think the women were excited to show what kind of team they are. Ashley obviously led the charge with the individual title, leading from start to finish. However, the rest of the team really ran great as well. I can't say how proud I am of how this team performed today. This was a great last meet before SoCon. I think we're in a good place and will only get better."
The Spartans will now gear up for the 2011 Southern Conference Cross Country Championship on Oct. 29 in Charleston, S.C.
1. Paul Chelimo, 23:36.05; 4. Joey Thompson, 24:28.59; 6. Paul Katam, 24:35.63; 23. Abraham Kemboi, 25:28.15; 42. Mike Koech, 26:07.24; 66. Tyron Alston, 26:52.33; 70. Brian Carrington, 26:59.27; 72. Taylor Day, 27:08.55; 73. Eric Williams, 27:10.65; 80. Dylan Belles, 27:25.96; 81. John Teeter, 27:30.14; 91. Asher Hertzberg, 27:55.47
1. Virginia, 39
2. Duke, 59
3. UNCG, 69
4. Kentucky, 119
5. Liberty, 133
6. Georgetown, 147
7. Richmond, 191
8. VCU, 235
9. Norfolk State, 235
10. South Florida, 286
1. Ashley Schnell, 21:03.42; 10. Chelsea Sumney, 21:39.77; 14. Shaina Sumney, 22:06.09; 16. Kerry Hartman, 22:11.94; 21. Ginny Cronley, 22:23.77; 49. Kelly Montague, 23:43.58; 57. Chelsea Willette, 24:14.57; 71. Michelle Chewens, 24:56.60; 79. Shannon Hall, 25:40.39; 81. Emily Vasquez, 26:35.54
1. Virginia, 27
2. UNCG, 55
3. East Carolina, 103
4. South Florida, 111
5. North Florida, 129
6. Richmond, 135
7. Kentucky, 140
8. Liberty, 185
9. VCU, 282
- UNCG -