Chelanga Leaves No Doubt With 27:08 Collegiate 10k Record - USTFCCCA
Chelanga Leaves No Doubt With 27:08 Collegiate 10k Record
Courtesy: Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA
May 2, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. – Sam Chelanga punctuated Liberty’s extremely successful showing at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in a major way, Saturday evening at Cobb Track and Angell Field. The redshirt junior shaved 20 seconds off of his own collegiate 10K record with a blazing 27:08.39 effort, marking the most impressive of the Flames’ three school-record performances at the meet.
Leading the way was Chelanga’s improbable performance in his outdoor season debut, after having missed a couple weeks of training recently with a slight foot injury. The seven-time All-American, who had not raced since the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 12, showed no signs of rust. He improved upon his previous NCAA 10K record of 27:28.48, set on April 24, 2009 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, Calif.
The Kim McDonald Memorial section of the men’s 10K was set up as an American record attempt for former Oregon standout Galen Rupp, who waged several memorable track and cross country battles with Chelanga on the collegiate scene a year ago. Chelanga tucked in right behind Rupp and his pacemakers for much of the race and was pulled through the 5K mark in approximately 13:36.
Rupp ended up bettering the previous American record at 27:10.74, but Chris Solinsky amazingly beat him to it in his debut at the 10K distance. Solinsky, a five-time NCAA national champion while at Wisconsin, unleashed a searing finishing kick, winning the race in a new American record time of 26:59.60. Chelanga closed in 60 seconds for the final lap, passing Rupp for a third-place finish and a record-breaking performance of his own. It was the first time Chelanga had ever defeated Rupp in a head-to-head race.
Rupp was one of four past Olympians Chelanga defeated Saturday evening. The only collegiate runner in his heat, Chelanga clocked the No. 3 time in the world for 2010. He also took over the lead on the 2010 NCAA national performance list by one minute and 24 seconds, over Tulsa’s John Beattie. At the pace Chelanga maintained throughout his record-setting race, averaging approximately 65 seconds per lap, he would have lapped Beattie had they been in the same competition.
Finally, Chelanga’s 27:08.39 performance eliminated all debate about the owner of the collegiate record. The NCAA does not maintain official “collegiate records,” and some track historians had labeled Henry Rono as the collegiate 10K record holder before Saturday evening. The Washington State athlete ran a 27:22.5 10K in 1978, but did so outside of the collegiate season.
– Paul Carmany, Liberty SID