NCAA Champion Mercy Chelangat Joins HOKA NAZ Elite

By Chris Chavez

August 3, 2023

Alabama’s Mercy Chelangat, the two-time NCAA champion, has signed a professional contract to join HOKA Northern Arizona Elite.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Chelangat was the 2021 NCAA Cross Country champion and 2022 NCAA 10,000m champion.

– Chelangat has personal bests of 15:17.28 for 5000m and 31:55.80 for 10,000m.

– Chelangat just finished 3rd in the NCAA Outdoor Championships 10,000m final. She finished her career with the Crimson Tide as a 10-time NCAA first-team All-American and an eight-time SEC champion.

– She will be coached by NAZ Elite’s interim head coach Jenna Wrieden as the team continues its search for a replacement for Alan Culpepper, who was appointed head coach in May 2022 but never fully moved to Flagstaff, Arizona.

What she said:

Chelangat (via NAZ Elite’s press release): “I chose HOKA NAZ Elite because it just felt right during my visit. Everyone was super friendly and made me feel right at home. I love that the team has a number of amazing and very experienced runners who I look forward to learning from. I’m excited and eager to start contributing to NAZ Elite’s rich tradition as I continue growing as a long distance runner.”

What’s next:

NAZ Elite says Chelangat will move to Flagstaff in September and may race on the roads this fall.

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.