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Chelanga, Tolsma Recognized by City Council

December 15, 2010
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Head coach Brant Tolsma and Sam Chelanga pose with their certificates after Tuesday's Lynchburg City Council meeting.

At its Tuesday evening meeting, Lynchburg City Council publicly recognized NCAA cross country national champion Sam Chelanga and Liberty cross country/track & field head coach Brant Tolsma.

Mayor Joan Foster and councilman Jeff S. Helgeson called Chelanga and Tolsma forward and presented both with certificates to commemorate their accomplishments.

Chelanga was honored for becoming just the 10th men's runner in NCAA Division I history to win back-to-back cross country national titles. Helgeson also noted his third consecutive NCAA Division I Southeast Regional championship and the fact that Chelanga is now a 10-time All-American.

This is the second consecutive year Lynchburg City Council has recognized Chelanga at its December meeting at City Hall. Last year, Chelanga was honored in tandem with Ricky Flynn of Lynchburg College, the 2009 NCAA Division III men's cross country national champion.

Tolsma, in his 25th year coaching at Liberty, was honored for his years of service to the institution. He has led the Flames to 67 Big South Conference titles and is a 45-time Big South Coach of the Year. Tolsma has coached 15 different NCAA Division I All-Americans at Liberty, three of whom have claimed individual national titles.