GORHAM, Maine--Senior All-American Michael LeDuc of Canton, Conn. 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 Saturday.
LeDuc automatically qualifies for next week's NCAA Championship that will be hosted by Hanover College.
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.
The victory comes on the heels of his victory at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship back on November 2. With that triumph in Waterford, LeDuc was honored as the NESCAC Performer of the Year.
Connecticut College Head Men's Cross Country Coach Jim Butler was proud of his runner's accomplishment and is already looking ahead with enthusiasm to next week's national championship in the Hoosier State of Indiana.
"Mike's trained all year to put himself in the position to run well in the last few races of the year and now he has one race to go," Butler said. "He's in great and mental physical shape to compete. We're hoping for a great result out in Hanover."
LeDuc believes that the confidence that Coach Butler and Assistant Coach Jeff Morin have instilled in him has been one of the underlying factors in his success this fall.
"Confidence plays a large role in my performance out there," LeDuc said Saturday. "The difference this season has been an extra level of confidence that I possess. The NCAA Championship is the one I've been envisioning since the summer. I can't wait and I certainly hope to keep my winning streak alive"
The Camels placed 12th out of 50 teams in the region with a score of 183 points.
Williams College placed two of its runners in the top three to win the regional with a score of 57 points. Middlebury College scored 65 points en route to its second place showing.
Junior Patrick Dermody (Erieville, N.Y.) finished in 40th place for the Camels with a time of 25:40 on the 8k course. First year harrier Ben Bosworth (Dorchester, Mass.) completed the course in 26:26 to finish in 83rd place for the Camels. Zander Mintz (East Windsor, N.J.) checked in with a 116th place showing, posting a time of 27:02 for Connecticut College.
Sophomore Niall Williams (Scotia, N.Y.) was next in with a time of 27:12 in 128th place. Brad DeMarco (Weston, Conn.) finished in 158th place with a time of 27:44. Junior Billy Barnes (New York, N.Y.) was the 188th runner to complete the course with a time of 28:19.