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McDougal Named USTFCCCA District Men's Track Athlete of the Year
The USTFCCCA honored the top men's and women's track & field athletes in nine different districts. Within the Southeast District, South Carolina junior sprinter Natasha Hastings (Women's Track), Louisville sophomore long jumper/triple jumper Andre Black (Men's Field) and UNC Wilmington senior javelin thrower Anna Raynor (Women's Field) were also recognized.
McDougal (Peru, N.Y.) has enjoyed the best outdoor track season of his career, setting personal bests in the 1,500 meters, mile, 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. The junior clocked a 13:20.43 for 5,000 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 13, which makes him the No. 5 all-time collegiate performer in the event. It is also the fastest collegiate performance in the nation this year by nearly 10 seconds. McDougal had opened his year with a bang less than two weeks prior to his stellar 5K effort, joining the sub-4:00 mile club with a time of 3:57.46 on his home track at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. He ran the 10,000 meters at Stanford's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in 28:27.65 on April 29, cutting 22 seconds off his previous best and qualifying him for the event at the national meet for the first time.
McDougal's season has also featured a pair of impressive triples. He was victorious in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000-meter races at the Big South and IC4A Championship meets, helping Liberty win both of the events' team titles. McDougal became the first athlete in 36 years to sweep the 5,000 and 10,000-meter crowns at the IC4A meet, winning the latter race less than a half hour after the conclusion of the 5,000. He then became the first athlete in the 131-year history of the IC4A Championships to add a 1,500-meter title to the distance double, doing so in a school-record time of 3:44.56.
McDougal, a nine-time All-American, will look to add two more honors to that number at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which begin on Wednesday. He is the only male athlete entered in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter competitions. McDougal earned his spot in the 5,000-meter field by finishing as the regional runner-up for the second consecutive season.