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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s cross country team enters the 2013 Southern Conference Championships picked as Co-Favorites to win the event hosted by Samford at Veterans Park in Birmingham, Ala. The Spartans were chosen along with Furman as the top choices to win the championship on the 8,000-meter course. The men's race is set for a 10 a.m. start.

Senior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) leads the Spartans as the two-time defending champion of the race. Chelimo has earned SoCon Runner of the Year honors in his first two seasons of eligibility and has posted All-America status during the cross country season the last two years.

Chelimo won his lone event this fall, winning the NCAA Pre-National Invitational White Race with a time of 24:13.25 in the 8,000-meter distance. He won last year’s SoCon Championship race with a time of 23:42.22 while picking up the 2011 championship with a time of 23:11.0. He owns the UNCG program-record time of 22:59.26 in the 8,000-meter distance, set last year at the Greater Louisville Classic.

Junior Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) has earned All-SoCon honors in his first two seasons in the league. Katam finished second at the SoCon Championships last year to Chelimo, posting a time of 23:57.50. He was named the SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2011 when he placed fourth in the championship race with a time of 23:59. He notched his personal-best time last year at the Pre-National Invitational, turning in a time of 23:49.90 in Louisville.

Senior Abraham Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya/Kipkabus) rounds out the Spartans top three performers this year. Kemboi placed third at the Elon Invitational earlier this year with a time of 25:59 and turned in a 25:13.50 mark at the Panorama Farms Invitational. Last year, he placed ninth at the SoCon Championships with a time of 25:09.00

- UNCG -

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