UNCG at SoCon Championships, Feb. 23-24, Birmingham, Ala.
- UNCG will travel to Birmingham, Ala. this week for the 2012 Southern Conference Indoor Championships beginning on Thursday. The meet will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday and will run until the distance medley relay at 7 p.m. that evening. Competition will resume on Friday at 9:15 a.m. and the awards ceremony at 4:55 p.m. will mark the end of the meet.
- Fans can follow the UNCG track & field coaches on Twitter for updates during the meet by clicking here.
- Tyron Alston, Dylan Belles, Brian Carrington, Paul Chelimo, Taylor Hurst, Paul Katam, Abraham Kemboi, John Teeter and Joey Thompson will represent the men's team at the meet. The women's team will be comprised of Ginny Cronley, Shannon Hall, Kerry Hartman, Kelly Montague, Ashley Schnell, Chelsea Sumney, Shaina Sumney and Chelsea Willette.
- The Spartans split their squad once again two weeks ago as some ran at the Spire Invitational, while others competed at the Fast Track College Invitational. At the Spire, Chelimo and Schnell each set new school records in the mile as Chelimo won his race and Schnell came in third. At the Fast Track, Cronley shattered the school record in the 5,000 meters by 35 seconds.
- On Feb. 3-4, UNCG split the team and competed at the Meyo Invitational and the Kent Taylor Invitational. At the Meyo, Paul Chelimo won the 3,000 meter race by edging Indiana All-American Andrew Bayer by half a second. His time qualified him for the NCAA Championships and is the sixth fastest time in the nation. Schnell also set a school record in the 3,000 meters. At the Kent Taylor Invite, Shannon Hall won the 800 meter race for the Spartans.
- On Feb. 3, Chelimo and Schnell were named the Southern Conference Track Athletes of the Month. Chelimo won both races he competed in during the month and set two school records, while Schnell also won both races and set a pair of school records.
- On Jan. 25, Shaina Sumney earned Southern Conference Women's Track Athlete of the Week and Chelimo earned the same distinction on the men's side. Sumney ran the top time in the SoCon this season in the 3,000 meters at the Hokie Invitational, while Chelimo won the mile race at the same event.
- On Jan. 20-21, the Spartans had another great weekend at the Hokie Invitational. Chelimo and Schnell each won their respective races in the mile to lead the Spartans. Shaina and Chelsea Sumney also turned in a 3-4 finish in the 3,000 meters and Ginny Cronley earned runner-up honors in the 5,000 meters.
- On Jan. 12-13, the track team kicked off the indoor track season at the Dick Taylor Invitational. Chelimo won the men's 800 meter race to lead the Spartans, while Schnell did the same in the women's 800 meters. Teammate Paul Katam also had a nice performance as he finished in second place in the mile.
- For her efforts at the Dick Taylor Invitational, Schnell was named the Southern Conference Women's Track Athlete of the Week. Her time of 2:11.52 was six seconds faster than her nearest competitor and broke her own school record she set last season by eight seconds. The time currently ranks fifth nationally in that event.
- UNCG is coming off an incredibly successful cross country season that saw the Spartans have their first-ever All-American. Paul Chelimo finished in 13th place at the NCAA Championships to earn All-America status, while teammate Joey Thompson also qualified for nationals and earned the Elite 89 award for having the highest GPA of all the male runners in the race. Two-time SoCon Runner of the Year Ashley Schnell also qualified for nationals on the women's side.
- The Spartans also enjoyed success at the SoCon Cross Country Championships as UNCG came away with both team titles. Chelimo won the men's race to earn SoCon Runner of the Year honors, while Schnell did the same on the women's side for the second consecutive season. Head coach Linh Nguyen took home SoCon Coach of the Year honors on both sides, as well.
- Last indoor season, Schnell captured the SoCon 3,000 meter title to become the first female runner in school history to win an individual title in track & field. Later that day, she joined teammates Shaina Sumney, Shannon Hall and Kerry Hartman to claim the SoCon title in the distance medley relay. On the men's side, Kenny Hinman earned SoCon All-Freshman Team honors in the 3,000 meters, while Paul Katam earned the same distinction in the 5,000 meters.
- In all, Ashley Schnell set three school records during the 2011 indoor season and was a part of a relay team that also set a school record. She set a new mark in the 800 meters at the Tiger Paw Invitational and a new record in the mile at the Liberty Open. She was also able to set a new mark in the 3,000 meters at the prestigious Meyo Invitational and the distance medley relay team that won the SoCon title set a school record in that race.
- The Spartan men's team will be bolstered this year with the addition of Chelimo and fellow Kenyan Abraham Kemboi. As a freshman at Shorter University last season, Chelimo helped lead his team to an NAIA National Championship in indoor track by winning the national title in the 3,000 meters and as a member of the distance medley relay team. Kemboi came to UNCG after spending a season at Northwood University where he earned all-conference honors during the outdoor track season in the 1,500, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
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