Tuesday night's special edition of ABC's 20/20 titled "The Real Rookies" will feature a segment on former Liberty men's track & field/cross country All-American Sam Chelanga.
The one-hour show, which is set to begin at 10 p.m. Eastern, will profile Chelanga and several other individuals who have made surprising career changes later in life to join the U.S. military.
Tuesday's 20/20 episode will include interviews with Chelanga, his wife (former Liberty women's cross country/track & field runner Marybeth [Carlson] Chelanga), Liberty Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Brant Tolsma, Liberty Associate Head Track & Field Coach Clendon Henderson and Liberty President Jerry Falwell.
20/20 producer Susan Welsh and her crew filmed the interviews with Tolsma, Henderson and Falwell, as well as other campus footage, during a Sept. 7 visit to Liberty.
Following a seven-year career as a professional runner, Chelanga announced his retirement on July 4, with the intention of enlisting in the U.S. Army. He began basic training July 29 at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., where he is preparing to start Officer's Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., on Oct. 15, with an interest in military intelligence.
The 33-year-old Chelanga, who originally hails from Kenya, is one of the most decorated student-athletes in Liberty University history. During his time as a Flame, he captured four NCAA Division I individual national titles (two in cross country, two in outdoor track & field). Chelanga still holds the NCAA all-time record for the men's 10K (27:08.39).
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