JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One more UNCG runner added his name to the list of NCAA Championship qualifiers Saturday night as Paul Chelimo won his heat in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA East Preliminary Round at the University of North Florida.
Chelimo took the lead with 300 meters left in the race to finish in a time of 14:00.51, which was the fastest time at the meet.
The win made Chelimo the second Spartan this weekend to punch his ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, as Paul Katam qualified with his win in the 10,000 meters on Thursday. The duo will compete in Des Moines, Iowa, from July 6-9, at Drake University.
On the women’s side, Chelsea Sumney led the way for the Spartans, finishing 31st overall in a time of 16:57.30. Shaina Sumney also ran well in her heat, finishing in 42nd place.
UNCG senior Ashley Schnell was forced to drop out of the race due to illness. Schnell finishes her career as the school record-holder in every event from the 800 meters all the way through the 10,000m.
“Overall, it was a positive meet,” UNCG coach Linh Nguyen said. “The extreme heat and humidity were obstacles but everybody ran hard and fought. Getting two people qualified for Des Moines is huge for us and I couldn’t be more excited.”
5,000m: 1. Paul Chelimo, 14:00.51
5,000m: 31. Chelsea Sumney, 16:57.30; 42. Shaina Sumney, 17:31.94; Ashley Schnell, DNF.