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Oct. 7, 2009
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - USC Upstate cross country runners Gilbert Kemboi and Carolyne Chelulei were named Atlantic Sun Runners of the Week, the conference office announced today. This is the third weekly award of the season for Kemboi, while it is the first weekly award for Chelulei.
"To receive the weekly honor from the A-Sun is very special because there are tremendous athletes that compete in our league," said head cross country coach Jimmy Stephens. "What these two individuals are doing is proof that our program is heading in the right direction."
Kemboi posted a personal-best and Upstate record with a time of 24:28.40 on Friday. Kemboi's second place finish against a field of 198 runners led the Spartans to a fourth-place finish in the 21-team event.
The freshman's previous best was 25:00.00 at the Eye Opener Invitational and prior to Friday's meet that was the school record. In the four races the native of Eldoret, Kenya has competed in, he has come away with two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes.
"Both Gilbert and Carolyne ran great at the Charlotte Invitational," said assistant cross country coach Carson Blackwelder. "I was pleased with not only their outstanding times, but their ability to compete in a strong field of competitors."
Carolyne Chelulei's time of 17:31.40 was a personal best for the sophomore runner and it is also a new Upstate women's record. The previous Upstate record was 18:08.00, which was set by Emily Tangwar at the 2007 A-Sun Championships.
Chelulei, who finished third in Friday's meet that featured 209 competitors, had a previous personal-best of 18:12. Her previous best occurred on Sept. 5 when she finished first at the 26th annual Eye Opener Invitational.
"I am proud of the effort that both Gilbert and Carolyne are putting forth at each meet," Stephens added. "Their hard work and determination they are putting forth is helping push the entire team to do their absolute best."
The Spartans have one more meet before they head to DeLand, Fla. for the A-Sun Championships on Oct. 31. The Spartans will host the USC Upstate Cross Country Invitational on Oct. 17 at the Milliken Research Park.