GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the second straight year, the UNCG men’s cross country program sent two runners to the NCAA Cross Country Championships as senior Paul Chelimo (Chebiemit, Kenya/Chebiemit Boys School) and junior Paul Katam (Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) ran the 10,000-meter race at LaVern Gbson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. Saturday. The race was run in brutal conditions with temperatures in the mid-30’s, wind gusting at 30-40 mph and the course soaked by inches of rain which forced the course to be shortened some 100 meters due to poor course conditions at the starting line.
Chelimo, the NCAA Southeast Region Athlete of the Year, competed in his third NCAA National Championship race of his UNCG career. He played 82nd overall in the tough conditions, posting a time of 31:10.00. Oregon freshman Edward Cheserek came from behind to win the individual race, passing defending champion Kennedy Kithuka with just over 2,000-meters to go to win the race in a time of 29:41.10.
Chelimo finishes his cross country career as the most decorated runner in UNCG program history. He won the Southern Conference Championship and was named the SoCon Runner of the Year all three years with the program. He owns every distance running record at UNCG and the SoCon while earning All-America honors twice in his cross country career.
Katam made his second appearance in the NCAA Championship race, placing 122nd overall with a time of 31:28.60. He tallied a 77th place finish last year in the pinnacle race. Katam has been one of the top runners in the Southeast Region during his first three years with the program, winning the SoCon Freshman of the Year honor in 2011 and finishing second to Chelimo in the SoCon Championships the past two seasons.
Chelimo and Katam will take their skills to the track as UNCG begins the indoor track and field season in January while the outdoor season begins in March. Both runners were national runner-ups at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championship, Chelimo in the 5,000-meters and Katam in the 10,000-meters.
- UNCG -