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Chelanga Named Regional Athlete of the Year
For the third year in a row, Liberty redshirt senior Sam Chelanga has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region Men's Athlete of the Year.
Liberty has now captured this award four consecutive seasons, as Josh McDougal earned the honor in 2007, before Chelanga's trio of recognitions. Northern Arizona is the only other school in the nation to win this honor in each of the last four years.
Chelanga is undefeated in his four races this season, as he prepares to defend his NCAA national title on Monday. He opened his season by winning at both the Brooks Paul Short Run (Oct. 1) and Pre-Nationals (Oct. 16) for the second time in his career. Chelanga then captured his third straight Big South individual crown on Oct. 30, before claiming his third NCAA Southeast Regional title in succession on Saturday.
Chelanga will be joined by teammate Evans Kigen at Monday's NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. The 10K race will be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind., beginning at 12:48 p.m. If victorious, Chelanga would become only the 10th men's runner in NCAA Division I history to win back-to-back national championships.