Liberty University senior Sam Chelanga, winner of the last two NCAA Division I cross country championships, is now a world pace setter.
Chelanga posted a 5K time of 13 minutes, 41.35 seconds Friday at Liberty’s Tolsma Indoor Track Center, giving him a qualifying mark for March’s NCAA Indoor Championships along with the top 5K time in the world in 2011.
Chelanga ran in a special race with teammate Josh Edmonds and assistant coach Derek Scott. His tie was under the NCAA automatic qualifying time of 13:50.80. He’s the first runner to qualify for the NCAA men’s 5K indoor race.
Chelanga broke the Tolsma Center record of 13:45.46, set in December 2007 by Josh McDougal. He bettered the world’s best time this year of 13:59.88, previously set by Russia’s Mikhail Pitertsev.
Also Friday, Liberty’s Joel Terry, Jordan Bright, Jarred Cornfield and Isaac Wendland set an IC4A qualifying time in the 4x800 relay, and LU’s Melinda Bendik (weight throw) and Christina Mitchell (pentathlon) set ECAC qualifying marks.
Bridgewater 63, Lynchburg 59
The Eagles held off a late Hornets charge to escape Turner Gym with a victory.
Lynchburg (3-13, 3-8 ODAC) got within three in the final minute when Courtney Brewer hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds to play. Bridgewater (13-3, 8-3) extended the lead back to five when Jordan Burkholder, who scored a game-high 23 points, knocked down two free throws five seconds later. Lynchburg turned it over on its next possession, sealing the Eagles’ victory.
Jessica Muller added 18 points for the Eagles. Caitlin Falls led Lynchburg with 14 points. Katie Crump had 11 points and nine rebounds and Courtney Brewer also added 11.
Eastern Mennonite 60, Randolph 54
Winless Randolph held a seven-point halftime lead but couldn’t finish off the Royals.
Randolph (0-16, 0-11 ODAC) led 29-22 at the half, but the Royals (9-8, 7-5) outscored the WildCats 38-25 after the break.
Lauren French led Randolph with 14 points. Courtney Bouchard and Brandie Witt scored 12 apiece. Bouchard went 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
Danielle Rittenhouse scored 14 to lead the Royals.