The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) recognized Shorter University runner Alfred Chelanga among its National Athletes of the Week after his winning performance at the annual Alabama Crimson Classic Friday.
En route to the top time in Tuscaloosa, Chelanga crossed the finish line of the 8k race in a time of 23 minutes, 47.4 seconds; nearly thirty seconds ahead of Alabama’s Anibahs Kosgei, who finished second with a time of 24:14.1.
The defending NCAA DII national champion currently holds the best mark in DII for an 8k, while the time ranks second fastest across all divisions this year.
Chelanga will look to defend his GSC Championship from a year ago as he takes to the course in Danville, Ala. Saturday, October 22.
The NCAA DII South Region qualifier will then be held on November 5 in Saint Leo, Fla. at the same location as this year’s National Championship to be held two weeks later on November 19.
The USTFCCCA tribute reads:
NCAA DIVISION II MEN – Alfred Chelanga, Shorter
Sophomore | Nairobi, Kenya
On a weekend when most NCAA Division II athletes and teams around the nation were quietly awaiting next weekend’s conference championships, defending national champion Alfred Chelanga made a resounding statement at the Alabama Crimson Classic.
The sophomore covered the approximately 8K course in 23:47.4, nearly a half-minute clear of reigning NCAA DI South Region Antibahs Kosgei of Alabama and more than 30 second ahead of Jacob Thomson of Kentucky (who finished 44th at the NCAA DI Championships a year ago).
Chelanga created that gap between himself and Kosgei in the final three kilometers of the race, as he and Kosgei passed the 5K split together.
View the complete list of National Athletes of the Week for October 17 online at http://www.ustfccca.org/2016/10/featured/ncaa-njcaa-xc-national-athletes-of-the-week-october-17.