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Chelanga Makes it to Des Moines in 2nd Event
Day 3 Blog
Liberty redshirt senior Sam Chelanga will have the opportunity to run both the 5K and 10K at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the second straight season. He won his heat of the 5K Saturday night, completing a successful three days for the Flames at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
Chelanga had cruised to victory in the 10K on Thursday, but things were a lot more interesting in the 5K at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex. About 10 runners were in contention for the five automatic qualifying positions at the bell, when the furious sprinting started.
Chelanga ran the final 400 meters in just under 56 seconds, outkicking NCAA indoor 5K national champion Leonard Korir of Iona, reigning NCAA steeplechase national runner-up Donn Cabral of Princeton and ACC 1,500/5K champion Ciaran O'Lionaird, among others.
Chelanga ended up winning the race in 14:06.16, crossing the finish line hand in hand with O'Lionaird. It was the second straight year Chelanga won his 5K heat at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
Chelanga will run the 5K at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, June 11 at 2:21 p.m. Eastern. The race will be aired live on CBS.
Isaac Wendland was unable to move on in the men's 1,500 Saturday evening. The Hawkeye State native placed ninth in his heat and 17th overall in the quarterfinals, with a time of 3:51.46.
Attempting to qualify for Des Moines in a second event, Elliot Galeone was unsuccessful. His top discus attempt reached 166-2, placing him 29th in the competition. The redshirt senior had previously punched his ticket to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the men's javelin on Thursday.
The trio of Chelanga, Galeone and Kolby Shepherd will now prepare for the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The four-day meet will be contested at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, June 8-11.