UNCG runners Paul Chelimo and Paul Katam were interviewed by the News & Record regarding matching second-place finishes in the NCAA track and field championships in Eugene, Ore.

“Being second in the nation, everybody was surprised. So many people got to know me,” said Katam. “It gave me more confidence for next time when I’m racing. It gives me that motivation that, when I’m running with those big guys, that’s where I belong.”

Referencing being second to Lawi Lang from Arizona, Chelimo said, “People were forgetting about me. Whenever they’d analyze a race, I wasn’t in the picture. That made me just keep working hard. I knew I had a lot of expectations.”

Chelimo has been recovering from injuries, which spurred him on more.

“The best runner is one who picks himself up from an injury. When you’re injured, it’s harder even than starting to train. It’s discouraging, but you just have to motivate yourself.”

The fact that Chelimo and Katam are now ranked nationally has been a big boost for UNCG, as well as for the runners themselves.

“Most people, they don’t want to come here because UNCG is not known for running,” Katam said. “But now we’ve been ranked. We’re now on another level. Next year, we’re going to be in the top 10.”