By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Elam earns second All-America honors in final year at Chico State
Sierra High graduate Jimmy Elam captured All-America honors, his second this year, last week in the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships. - photo by Chico State athletics
Jimmy Elam’s time aboard Chico State’s cross country and track programs was short but oh so sweet.

His collegiate career ended last week in the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships at Johnson C. Smith University’s Belt Track Complex, where he placed fourth in the 10,000-meter run to earn All-America honors.

The 2005 Sierra High graduate can now call himself a two-time All-American after having achieved the feat during the cross country season in the fall.

Elam is among an elite class of distance athletes to come out of Chico State’s storied program.

He sat out the entire 2008 cross country season after transferring from Humboldt State, but in 2009 he led the Wildcats to their eighth straight California Collegiate Athletic Association championship in cross country.

In cross country, he won the CCAA individual title, placed fifth in the West Region Championships and took 15th on the 10-kilometer course in Evansville, Indiana in the NCAA Championships for his first All-America award.

Elam didn’t slow down during the track season, winning the conference title in the 5,000. He was one of six Wildcats to win an event, helping the men’s team capture the team championship. But it was in the 10,000 where he left his mark in the final meet of the season.

His fourth-place finish came as somewhat of a surprise to some.

On May 27, Elam beat several runners seeded ahead of him, including Adams State standout Luke Cragg, who clocked in the best Division II time of the year. Elam finished in 30 minutes, 20.27 seconds.

Two days later he wrapped up his short but decorated career at Chico State in the 5,000, placing 12th in 14:38.14.

In high school, Elam was twice named the Bulletin’s All-Area Male Cross Country Runner of the Year. He qualified for the California Interscholastic Federation State Cross Country Championships all four years and helped Sierra capture the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III team banner in 2001 as a freshman. Elam also led the Timberwolves to three Valley Oak League titles in his four years.

— Jonamar Jacinto