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Chelanga, Watson Claim BSC Weekly Honors

February 17, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jaime Watson, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 800-meter run, won her third Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week award in the last four weeks.

Jaime Watson, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 800-meter run, won her third Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week award in the last four weeks.

Liberty redshirt junior Sam Chelanga and redshirt senior Jaime Watson were named the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Men's and Women's Track Athletes of the Week, respectively, it was announced today.

Chelanga (Nairobi, Kenya) was honored after running an impressive 5K at the Tyson Invitational for the second consecutive season. His winning time of 13:44.16, Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Center, ranks No. 1 on the NCAA Division I performance list and No. 17 in the world for 2010.

The effort automatically qualifies Chelanga for the 5K final at the 2010 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will also be contested at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. The national championship race is set for March 12 at 9 p.m. Eastern.

An hour before Chelanga took the track, Watson (Ravenna, Mich.) justified her third Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week distinction in the last four weeks with an impressive performance in the 800-meter run. She smashed her own Liberty and Big South record by more than two seconds, finishing fourth in a time of 2:06.15. The only three runners to defeat Watson were all past NCAA national champions at 800 meters.

Watson's clocking hit the NCAA provisional qualification standard for the 800, putting the senior under consideration for her first trip to the national meet. She currently ranks No. 15 on the NCAA Division I performance list in her specialty event.

Neither Chelanga nor Watson will be in action this weekend, as they take a weekend off from competition before the 2010 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. However, several of their teammates will travel to Blacksburg, Va., for Friday and Saturday's Virginia Tech Challenge.