GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s and women’s cross country team returns to action Saturday as the Spartans travel to Terre Haute, Ind., to take part in the prestigious NCAA Pre-National Invitational. The men’s 8,000-meter race and the women’s 6,000-meter race will be run on the LaVern Gbson Championship Cross Country Course, the home of the 2013 NCAA National Championships.
Senior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) and junior Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) will see their first action of the cross country season Saturday morning. Chelimo owns the UNCG program-record in the 8,000-meter race with a 22:59.62 time at the Greater Louisville Classic last fall. He also finished second at the NCAA Pre-National race last year, posting a time of 23:14.00 in Louisville. Earned All-America honors in cross country after placing 10th at the NCAA Championships last year.
Katam placed 24th in the NCAA Pre-Nationals last season in Louisville as he finished in a time of 23:49.90. His time in the race is the fastest time in his career. He finished fifth at the NCAA Regionals last year and was 66th in his first ever appearance in the NCAA Championship race.
On the women’s side, the sister duo of Shaina Sumney (Washington, Pa./Trinity) and Chelsea Sumney (Washington, Pa./Trinity) leads the Spartans into the event with the top two times in the Southern Conference this season. Shaina owns the top time at the 5,000-meter distance, posting a time of 17:21.00 while Chelsea has the second highest time in the league at 17:21.10. Both times were set at the Panorama Farms Invitational, hosted by Virginia on the same course of this year’s NCAA Regional. Chelsea finished fourth in the unseeded race at the Pre-National event last year.
Sophomore Lydia Saina (Eldoret, Kenya/Kapkenda Girls School) owns the fourth best time in the 5,000-meter race this season. Saina finished second in the Elon Invitational in a time of 17:39 in the first race of the season.
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