LeDuc Wins NCAA Championship in 3000 Meter Steeplechase for Second Consecutive Year

LeDuc Wins NCAA Championship in 3000 Meter Steeplechase for Second Consecutive Year

DELAWARE, Ohio.--Connecticut College senior All-American Michael LeDuc of Canton, Conn. has won the NCAA Division III Championship in the 3000 meter steeplechase for the second consecutive year.

LeDuc posted a time of 8:45.77 Saturday, setting a facility record at Selby Stadium on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University. It was the third fastest time recorded in Division III history and was 2.17 faster than his school record setting finish at the Penn Relays in April.

While last year's victory provided fans with plenty of drama in an extremely close race, LeDuc left little doubt in anyone's mind this time around who was going to win the title.

Dawson Miller from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater placed second with a time of 8:53.44.

LeDuc is the College's first three-time NCAA Division III Individual Champion and will enter the Connecticut College annals as a combined nine-time All-American performer in cross country and track and field.

LeDuc is the College's first three-time NCAA Division III Individual Champion and will enter the Connecticut College annals as a combined nine-time All-American performer in cross country and track and field.

"Mike got out really fast today as planned," Connecticut College Head Track & Field Coach Ned Bishop said.  He ran the first lap in 65 seconds which was even faster than what we had hope he would do. Not many runners can say that they are a four-time NCAA All-American and a two-time national champion in the same event. He finished the season undefeated and we're really proud of him."

Connecticut College Associate Head Track & Field Coach Jim Butler appreciates everything LeDuc has accomplished for the athletic program and the college. 

"This is the end of the Michael LeDuc era at Connecticut College," Butler said.  "It's starting to sink in that I won't be able to coach him next year Michael is a class act and he deserves all the winning and recognition that goes with it. Everybody here kept wishing him well all week. But he did not let the hype get to him. He met and exceeded everyone's expectations today."

LeDuc was pleased with his performance and thankful that he was able to compete for one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

"I absolutely loved representing Connecticut College on and off the track and I am proud to be a Connecticut College graduate."  LeDuc said with pride.  "I'm glad today's race wasn't as dramatic as last year. I really felt like an underdog last year. I knew Jack Davies and how good he was. We had higher expectations this year but I didn't change my approach to go out hard. I was trying to run between 69 seconds and 70 seconds a lap and I accomplished that goal.  I don't think I could have had better coaches. They have been so supportive and informative. They kept my expectations very high all the way through and I could not have done it without them."

Last weekend, LeDuc was honored as the co-recipient of the Anita L. DeFrantz '74 Award by the Connecticut College athletic program.

The accolade is presented annually to the male and female members of the graduating class whose athletic ability, leadership and sportsmanship best exemplify the qualities of Olympic medalist Anita L. DeFrantz.  

LeDuc posted a time of 8:47.94 to win the College Men's Steeplechase Championship at the Penn Relays at historic Franklin Field on April 24.

LeDuc bested his previous school record time of 8:50.58 he set en route to his national championship ran at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship in La Crosse, Wis. last May.

LeDuc recorded the third fastest time in the history of NCAA Division III competition. 
 
In recognition of the accomplishment, LeDuc was awarded with a commemorative gold watch.
 
LeDuc finished ahead of Isaac Spencer who represented Texas A & M University by finishing second with a time of 8:53.92.  Joshua Roche from Indiana University placed third with a time of 8:54.17.
 
There were numerous other runners competing in the field from the SEC, the Big Ten and other major Division I conferences.
 
LeDuc posted a school record setting time of 8:15.43 to finish fourth in the 3000 meter run at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb. back in March.  

It was the eighth time LeDuc had been named an All-American in track and field or cross country.

He placed seventh in the 5000 meters with a time of 14:23.92 at the Championship.

Connecticut College finished in a 32nd place tie with York College of Pennsylvania.

This past November, the USTFCCCA Honored LeDuc as its National Athlete of the Year in Division III Men's Cross Country.

LeDuc posted a time of 24:29 on the 8k course at Hanover College to win the Division III Men's Cross Country Championship November 23. It marked the second time LeDuc had won an NCAA Title in the past seven months for the College.

LeDuc's finish was the second fastest time in course history. He ran almost a full minute faster than his winning time of 25:22 at the pre-national race held on October 5. 

LeDuc 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.

LeDuc is the first man or woman at Connecticut College to win a Division III Regional or National Cross Country Championship.

The triumph occurred on the heels of his victory at the NESCAC Championship back on November 2. With that win in Waterford, Conn., 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's 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. That record was shattered once again with LeDuc's run in Philadelphia tonight. 

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's 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's 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.

In March of 2013, 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's 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 eight seasons.