All-American runner Mike LeDuc ’14 wins 3rd NCAA championship
For Mike LeDuc ’14, good things do come in threes. And by good things, we mean NCAA championships.
Connecticut College’s most decorated athlete of all time captured his third national title today with a win in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Division III Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.
LeDuc posted a time of 8:45.77 Saturday, setting a facility record at Ohio Wesleyan’s Selby Stadium. It was the third fastest time recorded in Division III history and was 2.17 seconds faster than his school record setting finish at the Penn Relays in April.
LeDuc went into today’s race as the defending national champion. He won the 2013 championship in dramatic fashion, stumbling on the final barrier and sprinting his way to a photo finish. In the end, he beat top-seeded Jack Davies of NESCAC rival Middlebury College by only .08 seconds, with an official time time of 8:50.58.
In the fall of 2013, LeDuc became the first Connecticut College athlete to win a cross country national championship. He posted a time of 24:29 on the 8k course at the NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country Championship at Hanover College to win by four seconds.
LeDuc now holds three of Connecticut College’s six NCAA titles. In March, Sam Gill ’14 won the 100-yard backstroke at the NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship. Previous titles were also won by swimmer Kate Kovenock ’05 in the 50-yard freestyle in 2004 and triple jumper Alex Samma '10 at the indoor track and field championships in 2009.
Today’s win earns LeDuc All-America status for the ninth time. Other accolades have continued to pile up over his impressive career: In November, LeDuc was named the National Athlete of the Year in Division III Men's Cross Country; in June, he 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; and he was honored as one of the Scholar Athletes of the Year in Division III for the 2013 men's track and field season, among many other honors.
LeDuc’s success has drawn considerable news coverage. The Hartford Courant ran a lengthy article in early May, and both NBC 30 and Fox 61 profiled him recently. He will also be featured in the upcoming edition of CC: Magazine, the College’s alumni magazine.
Last weekend, LeDuc graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in botany. He also earned a teaching certification through the College’s education program. Connecticut College’s athletic program honored LeDuc as the co-recipient of the Anita L. DeFrantz ’74 Award, 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.
The Canton, Conn., native has been recognized on the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Academic Team for each of the last eight seasons.