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Smith, Chelanga Compete in Olympic Trials Marathon
Liberty alumni Carol (Jefferson) Smith and Sam Chelanga battled the heat and some fierce competition in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon, Saturday in Los Angeles. Smith placed 105th in the women's race, while Chelanga was unable to complete his first career marathon.
Smith, who graduated from Liberty in 2008, improved upon her 113th-place finish in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials women's marathon. She crossed the finish line in 2:56:35 after reaching halfway in 1:23:31. The temperatures in the 70s and abundant sunshine certainly took their toll on Smith and the other competitors throughout the day.
Meanwhile, Chelanga ran with the men's leaders throughout most of the first half of the race, reaching the 13.1-mile mark in 1:05:58. The 2011 Liberty graduate and four-time NCAA Division I national champion ended up dropping out of the race between miles 19 and 20.
Today,I was like a nascar driver who's car got into a wreck 10 laps into the race.Down but can be fixed.Thanks for cheering.B back soon— Sam Chelanga (@SamChelanga) February 13, 2016
Amy Cragg (2:28:20), Desiree Linden (2:28:54) and Shalane Flanagan (2:29:19) were the three women who qualified to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. Galen Rupp (2:11:12), Meb Keflezighi (2:12:20) and Jared Ward (2:13:00) will comprise Team USA's men's marathon squad in Rio.
Chelanga will now turn his attention toward the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, which will be contested July 1-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.