Flames Home > Cross Country Home > Cross Country Roster > Roster Detail

Sam Chelanga

Class: R-Senior
Position:
Height: 5-7

Previous School: Fairleigh Dickinson

Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya

2009-10 (R-Jr.): Captured his first NCAA national title in dominating fashion, outdistancing runner-up David McNeill by 25 seconds at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship … it was the largest margin of victory in the Division I men's cross country national meet since 1996 … his 10K winning time of 28:41.3 set the course, Big South Conference and Liberty records … his 8K split of 22:46.6 at the national meet also set new Big South and Liberty standards for that distance … successfully defended his individual titles at the Big South meet and the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship … was also victorious at his season lid-lifter, the Hagan Stone Park Classic … only lost one race all season, placing second in the Pre-Nationals White race … won his other four races by an average of 41 seconds apiece … On the Track: Finished a close second in the 5K final at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship, earning his second consecutive national runner-up finish in the event … his time of 13:37.01 in the NCAA indoor 5K final ended up No. 17 on the 2010 world indoor performance list … won three events at the Big South indoor meet, including the mile, 3K and distance medley relay … clocked a personal-best 4:07.15 indoor mile at the Hokie Invitational … pushed his career All-America total to nine with the 10K national title and a 5K runner-up showing at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship … his 10K national crown, the first in the history of Liberty men's track & field, came by a wide margin of 18 seconds … it marked the largest winning margin in the NCAA Division I men's 10K final since 2002 … smashed his own all-time NCAA 10K record by 20 seconds, posting a 27:08.39 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational … became the first back-to-back IC4A 5K champion in program history … Awards Summary: Two NCAA national titles (cross country, outdoor 10K) … four NCAA All-America honors (cross country – 1st place, indoor 5K – 2nd place, outdoor 10K – 1st place, outdoor 5K – 2nd place) … one NCAA Southeast Regional title (cross country) … one NCAA All-Region honor (cross country – 1st place) … one IC4A title (outdoor 5K) … four Big South titles (cross country, indoor mile, indoor 3K, indoor distance medley relay) … four All-Big South honors (cross country – 1st place, indoor mile – 1st place, indoor 3K – 1st place, indoor distance medley relay – 1st place) … The Bowerman (one of final 10 candidates) … USTFCCCA Division I Men's National Cross Country Athlete of the Year … USTFCCCA Division I Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year (cross country and outdoor track) … Big South Howard Bagwell Male Student-Athlete of the Year … Big South Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year … Big South Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year … four-time Big South Cross Country/Track & Field Athlete of the Week (Oct. 21, Feb. 17, March 19 and May 5).

2008-09 (R-So.): Finished his first cross country season at Liberty with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship … only race he lost all season, as he was victorious at the Virginia Tech Cross Country Relay (along with Mark Hopely), Brooks Paul Short Run, Pre-Nationals, Big South Championship and NCAA Southeast Regional Championship … his season-best times of 22:51.3 for the 8K (Pre-Nationals) and 29:08.0 for the 10K (NCAA national meet) were school and Big South Conference records at the time … he set the 8K course records at the Brooks Paul Short Run (23:05), Pre-Nationals (22:51.3) and Big South Championship (24:33 on his home course) … On the Track: Became Liberty's first NCAA national runner-up in track & field, with his second-place finish in the 5K at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship … ran a 13:19.79 indoor 5K at the Tyson Invitational, setting the Liberty and Big South Conference records, while ranking No. 2 in NCAA history and No. 5 in the world for the 2009 indoor season … won the mile at the Big South indoor meet and anchored the Flames' runner-up distance medley relay team … his third-place finish in the 10K at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship made him only the second Liberty athlete (also Josh McDougal) to earn All-America honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track during the same athletic year … set the all-time NCAA 10K record with his 27:28.48 effort at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational … that effort ranked No. 18 in the world for 2009 … double champion at the Big South outdoor meet, winning both the 1,500 and 5K … won the IC4A outdoor 5K title … Awards Summary: Three NCAA All-America honors (cross country – 2nd place, indoor 5K – 2nd place, outdoor 10K – 3rd place) … one NCAA Southeast Regional title (cross country) … one NCAA All-Region honor (cross country – 1st place) … one IC4A title (outdoor 5K) … four Big South titles (cross country, indoor mile, outdoor 1,500, outdoor 5K) … four All-Big South honors (cross country – 1st place, indoor mile – 1st place, outdoor 1,500 – 1st place, outdoor 5K – 1st place) … USTFCCCA Division I Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year (cross country and outdoor track) … Big South Howard Bagwell Male Student-Athlete of the Year … co-Big South Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year … Big South Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year … Eastern Track Male Collegiate Athlete of the Year … seven-time Big South Cross Country/Track & Field Athlete of the Week (Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Feb. 18, March 25, April 29 and May 7) … four-time ECAC Division I Cross Country/Track Athlete of the Week (Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Feb. 18 and April 29).

2007-08 (So.): Redshirted the cross country, indoor and outdoor track seasons, as he completed a year in residence at Liberty … On the Track: Competed in numerous races unattached … posted the 14th-fastest indoor 5K time for the 2008 indoor season, a 13:52.88 at the Virginia Tech Challenge … recorded an outdoor 5K personal-best 13:24.73 at the Reebok Grand Prix, defeating 2008 Olympian Alistair Cragg … notched a 10K season-best time of 28:15.99 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational to win his section … won a race at the Penn Relays for the second year in a row, taking the Olympic Development 5K crown.

Previous School: Competed for Fairleigh Dickinson as a freshman, where he garnered a pair of All-America recognitions … the top freshman finisher at the 2006 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship, placing 16th overall … won the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship and the Northeast Conference title in cross country … placed fourth in the 5K at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship, claiming another All-America certificate … placed second to Liberty's Josh McDougal in the IC4A indoor 5K … qualified for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship in the 5K … won the Penn Relays 10K championship.

Prep: Attended Bartolimo High School.

Personal: Son of Haron and Ann Chelanga … brother of Joshua Chelanga, a world-class marathoner … government major … birthday is Feb. 23.

Cross Country Personal Bests
8K:
22:46.6 (en route) – Big South, Liberty record
11/23/09 – NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship
Terre Haute, Ind.

10K: 28:41.3 – Big South, Liberty record
11/23/09 – NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship
Terre Haute, Ind.

Track Personal Bests
1,500:
3:49.69
Mile: 4:07.15 (indoor)
3K: 7:57.85 (indoor)
5K: 13:19.79 (indoor)
10K: 27:08.39

Big South Cross Country Championship (8K)
2008 (Lynchburg, Va.):
1st place, 24:33.0 (Big South Runner of the Year, All-Big South)
2009 (Winston-Salem, N.C.): 1st place, 23:50 (Big South Runner of the Year, All-Big South)
2010 (Blacksburg, Va.): 1st place, 24:03.55 (Big South Runner of the Year, All-Big South)

NCAA Southeast Regional Championship (10K)
2008 (Clemmons, N.C.):
1st place, 29:53.4 (All-Region)
2009 (Louisville, Ky.): 1st place, 29:31.3 (All-Region)
2010 (Louisville, Ky.): 1st place, 29:55.8 (All-Region)

NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship (10K)
2006 (Lock Haven, Pa.): 1st place, 30:09.6 (All-Region)

NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship (10K)
2006 (Terre Haute, Ind.):
16th place, 31:20.2 (All-America)
2008 (Terre Haute, Ind.): 2nd place, 29:08.0 (All-America)
2009 (Terre Haute, Ind.): 1st place, 28:41.3 (All-America)
2010 (Terre Haute, Ind.): 1st place, 29:22.2 (All-America)