Sam Chelanga has been named Big South Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week four weeks in a row.
A trio of Liberty track & field athletes were recognized today by the Big South Conference. Sam Chelanga has been named the Choice Hotels Big South Conference Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week for the fourth straight week, while Jennifer Klugh is the Big South Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and Ryan Smith is the co-Big South Men's Indoor Field Athlete of the Week. Chelanga finished fifth in the men's 3K at the Flotrack Husky Invitational in Seattle, Wash., over the weekend. His time of 7:50.92, the second-fastest clocking in Liberty and Big South Conference history, automatically qualified Chelanga for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. During the race, Chelanga defeated American mile record holder Alan Webb and 2008 U.S. Olympian Ian Dobson. Klugh also competed at the Flotrack Husky Invitational, breaking the Liberty and Big South Conference records for the women's 5K. Her 16:56.14 effort made the Buckeye State native the first conference women's runner ever to break the 17:00 barrier indoors. This is Klugh's second Big South Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week honor this season. She previously won the award on Jan. 26. Smith fared well in both throwing events at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., placing second in the men's shot put and fifth in the weight throw. His personal-best 58-6.5 shot put was especially notable, as it tops the Big South performance list by nearly seven feet and ranks No. 28 nationally. Like Klugh, Smith also won his first Big South weekly award on Jan. 26. Chelanga, Klugh and Smith will all take this weekend off from competition, in preparation for the 2011 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Big South meet will be contested Feb. 24-25 in Clemson, S.C.
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