UNCG track heads to Hokie Invitational
UNCG at Hokie Invitational, Jan. 20-21, Blacksburg, Va.
- Coming off a successful opening weekend at the Dick Taylor Invitational, UNCG will look to build upon that this weekend as it travels to Blacksburg, Va., for the Hokie Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
- The meet will begin on Friday afternoon with the women's 3,000 meter race at 5:00 p.m. and will wrap up with the men's 300 meter race at 9:40 p.m. Competition will resume again on Saturday with the 5,000 meters at noon and will wrap up with the 4x400 meter relay for the men at 4:30 p.m.
- Running for the men's team this weekend will be Tyron Alston, Dylan Belles, Brian Carrington, Paul Chelimo, Taylor Day, Taylor Hurst, Paul Katam, Abraham Kemboi, Corey Paige, John Teeter, Joey Thompson and Eric Williams.
- The women's team this weekend will be comprised of Ginny Cronley, Jade Farlow, Shannon Hall, Kerry Hartman, Kelly Montague, Ashley Schnell, Chelsea Sumney, Shaina Sumney, Emily Vasquez and Chelsea Willette.
- Last weekend, the track team kicked off the indoor track season at the Dick Taylor Invitational. Chelimo won the men's 800 meter race to lead the Spartans, while Schnell did the same in the women's 800 meters. Teammate Paul Katam also had a nice performance as he finished in second place in the mile.
- For her efforts at the Dick Taylor Invitational, Schnell was named the Southern Conference Women's Track Athlete of the Week. Her time of 2:11.52 was six seconds faster than her nearest competitor and broke her own school record she set last season by eight seconds. The time currently ranks fifth nationally in that event.
- UNCG is coming off an incredibly successful cross country season that saw the Spartans have their first-ever All-American. Paul Chelimo finished in 13th place at the NCAA Championships to earn All-America status, while teammate Joey Thompson also qualified for nationals and earned the Elite 89 award for having the highest GPA of all the male runners in the race. Two-time SoCon Runner of the Year Ashley Schnell also qualified for nationals on the women's side.
- The Spartans also enjoyed success at the SoCon Cross Country Championships as UNCG came away with both team titles. Chelimo won the men's race to earn SoCon Runner of the Year honors, while Schnell did the same on the women's side for the second consecutive season. Head coach Linh Nguyen took home SoCon Coach of the Year honors on both sides, as well.
- Last indoor season, Schnell captured the SoCon 3,000 meter title to become the first female runner in school history to win an individual title in track & field. Later that day, she joined teammates Shaina Sumney, Shannon Hall and Kerry Hartman to claim the SoCon title in the distance medley relay. On the men's side, Kenny Hinman earned SoCon All-Freshman Team honors in the 3,000 meters, while Paul Katam earned the same distinction in the 5,000 meters.
- In all, Ashley Schnell set three school records during the 2011 indoor season and was a part of a relay team that also set a school record. She set a new mark in the 800 meters at the Tiger Paw Invitational and a new record in the mile at the Liberty Open. She was also able to set a new mark in the 3,000 meters at the prestigious Meyo Invitational and the distance medley relay team that won the SoCon title set a school record in that race.
- The Spartan men's team will be bolstered this year with the addition of Chelimo and fellow Kenyan Abraham Kemboi. As a freshman at Shorter University last season, Chelimo helped lead his team to an NAIA National Championship in indoor track by winning the national title in the 3,000 meters and as a member of the distance medley relay team. Kemboi came to UNCG after spending a season at Northwood University where he earned all-conference honors during the outdoor track season in the 1,500, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
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