Home >> Connecticut College’s LeDuc Wins D3 Nat’l Title

Connecticut College’s LeDuc Wins D3 Nat’l Title

LeDuc Wins NCAA Division III Crown
for Camels

NEW
LONDON, Conn.–For the second time in seven months, Connecticut College senior
Michael LeDuc of Canton, Conn. has won an NCAA Championship. LeDuc posted a
time of 24:29 on the 8k course at Hanover College to win the Division III Men‰Ûªs
Cross Country Championship.

It‰Ûªs
the fourth individual NCAA Championship for the Camel Athletic Program. LeDuc‰Ûªs
finish was the second fastest time in course history. Peter Kosgei, the 2008
NCAA Champion from Hamilton College, holds the record with a time of 22:22. LeDuc
ran almost a full minute faster than his winning time of 25:22 at the
pre-national race held back on October 5.  

Connecticut
College Head Men‰Ûªs Cross Country Coach Jim Butler was proud of his runner‰Ûªs
achievement Saturday in what wrapped up a dominant two months of competition
that saw LeDuc notch five consecutive wins.

‰ÛÏMike
was very determined to win the race and made me feel very confident that he
could do so,‰Û Butler exclaimed with glee. ‰ÛÏWhen he won pre-nationals, he told
me he wanted to go undefeated in the last four races. He ran the table, winning
our home invitational, the NESCAC Championship, the Division III Regional and
capping it off by winning the NCAA Championship today.  That‰Ûªs quite a special season.‰Û

 

LeDuc‰Ûªs
plan was to be near the front early and he was able to stick with the
pack in the early going. As the runners approached the outer loop just before
the three mile mark, he closed the gap on John Crain of North Central College.
Crain and LeDuc were running neck and neck at each recorded split from 2k
through the seventh kilometer.

 

But in the home stretch, with about 350 meters to go, LeDuc
put his head down and was able to put four seconds on Crain. It was a lead he
would not relinquish. Crain finished the race in 24:33 as the runner up.

 

‰ÛÏI
just tried to follow the game plan that Coach Butler and I put together,‰Û LeDuc
said.  ‰ÛÏWe were just trying to remain comfortable
and calm in first three miles. I was a little worried when two runners were running
five seconds in front of me. I moved forward at the 5k mark and ran with Crain
for last third of the race or so. I just had to be as tough as I could and
break Crain before the finish line and I did.  I was surprised at how fast the pace was early
in the race. But I guess it‰Ûªs to be expected at a National Championship. It was
really great to have the support of the entire region. I felt well supported by
the region and it was a great feeling. My thought process was that I had to win
the race or show myself that I was physically incapable of doing so.‰Û

 

On the heels of the NESCAC announcing its All-Sportsmanship,
there was a special moment of unified support by all NESCAC participants who
joined the Connecticut College student-athletes in cheering LeDuc on down the
home stretch to the triumph.

 

LeDuc
was honored as the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches
Association of America (USTFCCCA) Division III Regional Athlete of the Year
earlier this week.

He
posted a time of 24:21 to win the NCAA Division III Regional Championship
hosted by the University of Southern Maine at the Narragansett School on
November 16.

With
150 meters remaining in the race, LeDuc was able to pass Colin Cotton of
Williams College to pull out the victory. LeDuc is the first man or woman at
Connecticut College to win a Division III Regional Cross Country Championship.

In
recognition of his performance, LeDuc was honored New England Small College
Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men‰Ûªs Cross Country Performer of the Week Monday.

The
victory comes on the heels of his victory at the NESCAC Championship back on
November 2. With that triumph in Waterford, LeDuc was honored as the NESCAC
Performer of the Year.

LeDuc enjoyed a memorable 2012-2013
for the Camel Athletic Program.

He
captured the College‰Ûªs third NCAA Championship in La Crosse, Wis. in May,
topping his own school record with a time of 8:50.58 in the 3000 meter
steeplechase.

 

LeDuc
also ran the 5000 meters at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship,
finishing 18th in that run with a time of 14:56.11.

 

LeDuc
continued to pile up the honors and awards over the summer. In June, LeDuc was
named to the Capital One Academic Men‰Ûªs Cross Country/Track & Field First
Team in Division III as selected by The College Sports Information Directors of
America (CoSIDA).

 

He
was also honored as one of the Scholar Athletes of the Year in Division III for
the 2013 men‰Ûªs track & field season by the USTFCCCA.

LeDuc
successfully defended his New England Division III crown in the 5000 meters at
Colby College May 4, shattering a facility record that had stood for more than
two decades with
a time of 14:30.03.

Back in March, LeDuc earned All-America
honors for the fourth time in his career at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track &
Field Championship, posting a time of 14:31.80 en route to his third place
finish at North Central College.

In
November of 2012, LeDuc turned in an All-American performance with a 13th place
finish in 24:48 at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship hosted by
the Rose-Holman Institute of Technology.

 

It
established a program record for the highest finish for a Connecticut College
men‰Ûªs cross country runner at a national championship.

 

LeDuc
garnered All-America accolades in the 3000 meter steeplechase at the 2012 NCAA
Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Claremont, Calif. He posted a school
record setting time of 8:59.54 en route to a fourth place finish, moving up two
spots from his All-America finish in 2011.

 

In
the classroom, the botany major has been recognized on the NESCAC All-Academic
Team during the past six seasons.

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