Michael LeDuc '14 is one fast Camel
Winning by a mere .08 seconds, Michael LeDuc ’14 captured the national title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
For the third time in Connecticut College history, a Camel has been crowned national champion.
Michael LeDuc ’14 broke his own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:50.08 to capture the NCAA Division III title in the event, holding off the top-seeded Jack Davies of NESCAC rival Middlebury College by only .08 seconds. LeDuc’s time was the fastest in the country in the NCAA Division III this year and the sixth-fastest time in Division III history.
“When he [Davies] closed in on me and took the lead, I was trying to hold on for dear life and I was able to give it that last burst at the end,” said LeDuc of the dramatic finish, which included a stumble over the final barrier that nearly knocked him off balance. “I was shocked that it happened.”
In just three years, LeDuc, who also competes on the men’s cross country team, has earned a number of accolades on and off the track, including back-to-back New England Division III crowns in the 5,000-meter steeplechase and All-America honors for the fourth time in March 2013. The botany major also excels in the classroom, having been named to the NESCAC All-Academic Team in each of the past three seasons of cross country and track and field.
“At the end of last season, we set goals for Mike to win a national championship and run 8:50 or better,” said Jim Butler, associate head track coach/head men’s cross country coach. “He accomplished both of those objectives.”
This is the first NCAA Championship for the College since Alex Samma ’10 won the triple jump at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship in 2009. The College’s first title belongs to swimmer Kate Kovenock ’05, who won the 50-yard freestyle in 2004.