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Chelanga Named Top NCAA Individual Runner

September 1, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Sam Chelanga was named the NCAA's top individual men's cross country runner in the October 2009 issue of Track & Field News.

Sam Chelanga was named the NCAA's top individual men's cross country runner in the October 2009 issue of Track & Field News.

Liberty athlete Sam Chelanga was named the NCAA No. 1 individual runner by Track & Field News, as part of the publication's 2009 men's cross country predictions in the October 2009 issue.

Chelanga, a redshirt junior from Nairobi, Kenya, was the 2008 NCAA National Championship runner-up with a time of 29:08 in the 10K, cutting 14 seconds off the Liberty and Big South records. He was named the 2008 Big South Runner of the Year and received a spot on the All-Big South team. The five-time All-American also claimed five first-place finishes last year, and set the Liberty, Big South and 8K course records at Pre-Nationals with his winning time of 22:51.

Chelanga also excelled on the track for the Flames in 2009. On April 24, he set the NCAA all-time 10K record, running a 27:28.48 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, Calif. Such performances make Chelanga an "obvious favorite" at this year's NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, according to Track & Field News.

The Liberty men's and women's cross country squads kick off the 2009 season on Friday in Blacksburg, Va., when they compete in the Virginia Tech Relays. The women's two-person relay is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., with the men's relay set for 6 p.m.