Update: Chelimo placed 82nd in Saturday’s race, from a field of 253 runners, with a time of 31:10.0. Katam finished 122nd with a time of 31:28.6.

UNCG’s Paul Chelimo and Paul Katam are heading to the NCAA National Championship cross-country race on Saturday.

They earned two of the four men’s individual spots from the Southeast Region. Chelimo, a two-time cross country All-America runner, will be one of the top contenders in the 2013 NCAA Championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.

The 10,000-meter race is set for a noon start and will be streamed live online by the NCAA with links at www.uncgspartans.com.

Chelimo became UNCG’s first ever NCAA Regional Cross Country Champion last week when he won the 10,000-meter race with a personal-record and UNCG program-record time of 28:37.30. He edged out N.C. State’s Andrew Colley by just 1.4 seconds. Chelimo’s time trims almost a minute off his previous program-record time of 29:29.80 set last year at the NCAA Championships, where he finished seventh overall.

Katam qualified for his second NCAA Championship race, placing seventh overall with a time of 29:00.90. Katam’s time set a personal record, trimming 43 seconds off his previous time of 29:43.62 set at the 2012 NCAA Regionals.

Also at last week’s Regionals, the UNCG women’s cross country team turned in an 11th place performance in the 38-team field. The women’s team placed four runners in the top 100 of the field. Shaina Sumney led the Spartans with a 15th place showing as she set a personal-best time in the 6,000-meter race.

By Matt McCollester

Full story at UNCG Athletics.

Photo courtesy Virginia Athletics.