Paul Katam and Paul Chelimo flew into Eugene, Ore., as regional champions. They flew out as national runners-up – and First-Team All Americans.

The Spartans, with two runners in the NCAA Outdoor National Championships, finished 15th overall in the nation.

Paul Katam ran first, in Thursday’s 10,000-meter race. The sophomore pre-nursing major placed second.

“This is a guy that works harder than anybody you’ve ever met and he does it with no fanfare and in the shadow of a very good teammate,” Coach Linh Nguyen said. “What people saw tonight is what we in the program already knew and it’s that Paul Katam is one of the best distance runners in the nation.”

Last year at the Outdoor Championships, Katam won Second-Team All-America honors, one spot away from first team. This year, he secured First Team honors.

UNCG junior runner Paul Chelimo, who competed in the Saturday 5,000-meter race, earned First Team All-America honors and finished as the national runner-up for the second straight season.

Chelimo, a public health major, is now a five-time All-America recipient during his career as a Spartan. He has won two First Team All-America honors in outdoor track, one First Team All-America honor in indoor track and two First Team All-America accolades in cross country as a Spartan.

“A lot of people nationally doubted him this year, and he just proved them all wrong,” Nguyen said after Chelimo’s race. “The best thing is that both he and Katam will be back next year!”

See picture gallery of Paul Chelimo’s race. See picture gallery of Paul Katam’s race.

Story compiled from UNCG Athletics posts.