LeDuc, Johnson, Lundin & Van Allen Earn National Awards for Division III Cross Country
Award History
NCAA DIII XC National Awards

LeDuc, Johnson, Lundin & Van Allen Earn National Awards for Division III Cross Country

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday its National Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the NCAA Division III Cross Country season following the championships in Hanover, Ind., this past weekend.

NCAA Division I Cross Country individual champions Mike LeDuc of Connecticut College and Chelsea Johnson of St. Scholastica were named the men’s and women’s USTFCCCA National Athletes of the Year, respectively.

Phil Lundin of St. Olaf and Bobby Van Allen of Johns Hopkins earned men’s and women’s National Coach of the Year honors, respectively, in leading their teams to national titles.

Men’s National Athlete of the Year


Courtesy: NCAA

Mike LeDuc, Connecticut College

Recent Winners
2012: Tim Nelson, UW-Stout
2011: Ben Sathre, St. Thomas (Minn.)
2010: Anders Hulleberg, Haverford
2009: Ricky Flynn, Lynchburg
2008: Peter Kosgei, Hamilton
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LeDuc emerged from one of tightest individual races of NCAA Championships Saturday as Connecticut College’s first men’s cross country national champion, crossing the line on the eight-kilometer course at Hanover in 24:29.3 to defeat John Crain of North Central (Ill.) by just less than four seconds.

The Canton, Conn., senior had to battle back for the win after crossing the halfway point at four kilometers in fifth-place. Less than two kilometers later, he was in a back-and-forth battle with Crain for the lead that lasted all the way until the very late stages of the race. LeDuc was able to pull away on the final stretch for the national crown.

His national title added to a 2013 resume that also includes a streak of five consecutive wins. He earned victories at the New England Region Championships, the NESCAC Championships and the Pre-National Invitational on this very course in Hanover. His only loss was in his season debut at the Southern Maine Invitational in fourth-place.

 

Women’s National Athlete of the Year


Courtesy: St. Scholastica

Chelsea Johnson, St. Scholastica

Recent Winners
2012: Christy Cazzola, UW-Oshkosh
2011: Chiara Del Piccolo, Williams
2010: Wendy Pavlus, St. Lawrence
2009: Wendy Pavlus, St. Lawrence
2008: Marie Borner, Bethel (Minn.)
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Johnson bided her time through five kilometers of the six-kilometer NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships race in Hanover, Ind., before taking command to win the individual title in 21:11.70. Her title was the first Division III national championship in school history, and it came by nearly 11 seconds over runner-up Noelle Olson of St. Olaf.

The senior from North Branch, Minn., ran with a group of four through five kilometers before making a decisive move in the final 1000 meters to break the race wide open. She generated nearly all 11 seconds of her final separation in that final kilometer stretch.

With the title, she finished her 2013 cross country campaign with seven wins, including titles at the Central Region Championships, the UMAC Championships, the Pre-National Invitational and the the Roy Griak Invitational Maroon III race. Her lone defeat was a third-place finish in late September at the St. Olaf Invitational.

 

 

Men’s National Coach of the Year


Courtesy: St. Olaf

Recent Winners
2012: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2011: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2010: Tom Donnelly, Haverford
2009: Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)
2008: Steve Patrick, SUNY Cortland
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Phil Lundin, St. Olaf

Lundin, in his sixth season guiding the St. Olaf program, led his Oles to a narrow upset over two-time defending NCAA Division III team champion North Central (Ill.), 84-86, for the program’s first National Championship. His squad posted four All-American performances, including third-place Grant Wintheiser and eighth-place Jake Brown.

His Oles were No. 3 in the National Coaches Poll entering the championships, while North Central came in as the No. 1 team. Both North Central and St. Olaf posted a race-best four All-Americans, but it was St. Olaf that controlled the team competition for nearly the duration of the race behind his six finishers in the top 75.

In addition to the national title, Lundin’s squad also claimed wins at the Central Region Championships, the MIAC Championships and the UW-La Crosse Jim Drews Invitational.

 

Women’s National Coach of the Year


Courtesy: Johns Hopkins

Recent Winners
2012: Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins
2011: Jeff Stiles, Washington (Mo.)
2010: Terry Aldrich, Middlebury
2009: Dan Schwamberger, UW-Eau Claire
2008: Terry Aldrich, Middlebury
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Bobby Van Allen, Johns Hopkins

Van Allen, in his 15th season in charge of the Johns Hopkins program, led his Blue Jay women to a successful defense of their 2012 NCAA Division III Cross Country team title, winning the 2013 crown by a wide 85-137 margin over runner-up Williams. His women earned a race-best three All-America honors, led by fourth-place finish from Hannah Oneda.

Entering as the No. 1 team in the National Coaches Poll for the entire season, his Johns Hopkins squad was the first pre-meet No. 1 to claim the team title since Middlebury in 2010. The Blue Jays were in control of the team competition throughout the duration of the race, with three top-15 runners earning All-America honors and a fourth runner just three spots shy of the cut-off for the award.

The title caps a season for Van Allen’s squad that included titles at the Mideast Region Championships, the Centennial Conference Championships and numerous strong showings against Division I and II squads.