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Chelanga Set for U.S. Olympic Trials

June 29, 2016  Eugene, Ore.  RSS
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Sam Chelanga is entered in the men's 5K and 10K at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field. The meet will be contested at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., where Chelanga won the men's 10K at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Sam Chelanga is entered in the men's 5K and 10K at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field. The meet will be contested at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., where Chelanga won the men's 10K at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Meet Schedule (Times Listed are Pacific)

Video Streaming for 10K Final

Video Streaming for 5K Prelims

Video Streaming for 5K Final

Live Results Site

Meet Informational Page

Eugene Weather

Less than a year after becoming a U.S. citizen, 2011 Liberty graduate Sam Chelanga will attempt to qualify for his first Olympic team. He is entered in the men's 5K and 10K races at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, which begin Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Chelanga's first event will be the men's 10K final, to be contested Friday at 9:15 p.m. Eastern and televised live on NBC. He will then compete in the first round of the men's 5K Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Network. If Chelanga qualifies for the men's 5K final, he will race again at 8:20 p.m. Eastern on July 9 on NBC.

The top three finishers in each event will qualify to represent Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.

How to Follow Sam
As mentioned above, the men's 10K final (Friday at 9:15 p.m. Eastern) and 5K final (July 9 at 8:20 p.m. Eastern) will both be televised live on NBC. The men's 5K first round heats (Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern) will be carried live on the NBC Sports Network. The coverage will also be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Live results, including lap-by-lap splits, will also be available courtesy of Flash Results, Inc.

Weather Report
The weather will be a bit warm for distance running at the Olympic Trials. Eugene's long-term weather forecast calls for high temperatures in the low to mid-80s under sunny skies throughout the Trials.

About the Facility
Hayward Field, which first opened in 1919 as Oregon's football stadium, is one of the most storied track & field venues in the United States. The stadium, which boasts a permanent seating capacity of 10,500, will host its third consecutive U.S. Olympic Trials, following the 2008 and 2012 events.

Eugene will also host the 2021 IAAF World Championships at Hayward Field, which will mark the first time the event has ever been held in the United States.

Chelanga is well-acquainted with Hayward Field. He won his second of four NCAA Division I national titles at the venue on June 10, 2010. That evening, Chelanga captured the men's 10K title at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Chelanga lived and trained in Eugene during his time with the Oregon Track Club Elite, spanning 2011-13.

Chelanga's most recent race was contested at Hayward Field, as he placed 16th in the men's 5K at the Prefontaine Classic on May 28.

Catching Up with Chelanga
Chelanga, who originally hails from Nairobi, Kenya, earned his U.S. citizenship in August 2015. Since then, he has kept busy racing for his new country.

The Nike-sponsored Chelanga captured two USA Track & Field (USATF) national titles last fall, including the 10-mile championship in October and the 12K crown in November.

Chelanga competed in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon in Los Angeles on Feb. 13. However, he ended up dropping out of his marathon debut between miles 19 and 20.

Now 31 years of age, Chelanga boasts impressive track credentials. Only one of his competitors in the 10K field, Galen Rupp, has ever run faster than Chelanga's collegiate-record clocking of 27:08.39 from 2010. Additionally, only one American (Hassan Mead) has clocked a time faster than Chelanga's 5K personal-best (13:04.35) thus far in 2016.

The top three finishers in each race will advance to the Rio Olympics, provided they have hit the qualifying standard. Chelanga owns the standard in the 10K (28:00) but would need to clock a time below 13:25 in order to make the 5K team.

Track & Field News predicts that Chelanga will finish ninth in Friday's 10K, with Rupp, Bernard Lagat and Ben True taking the top three spots. Flotrack has Chelanga placing eighth in the 10K, with Rupp, Mead and True punching their tickets to Rio. Neither group expects Chelanga to finish inside the top eight of the 5K.

Chelanga hopes to defy the expectations, record a top-three finish and become Liberty's first-ever track & field Olympian.