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McDougal Honored as Big South Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Liberty junior Josh McDougal, who won five All-America honors this past year in cross country and track & field, has been named the Big South Conference Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year, it was announced today.
McDougal (Peru, N.Y.) captured the award, voted on by the league's head track & field coaches, for the third consecutive year. The 11-time All-American becomes the first three-time winner of the award since its inception in 2001. Meanwhile, Radford senior thrower Tiffany Evans earned the Big South Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year distinction for the second straight season.
This is not the first time McDougal has been recognized by the Big South during the current academic year. He was voted the Big South Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year for the third time and repeated as the Big South Men's Outstanding Track Performer indoors. The junior received 10 Big South Athlete of the Week awards during the year (three cross country, four indoor track & field, three outdoor track & field). McDougal was also recently honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as the Southeast District Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
McDougal capped off a solid 2006 cross country season with a 27th-place finish at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, which was good for All-America status. His year also included individual victories at the Roy Griak Invitational and Pre-Nationals. The junior crossed the finish line first at the Big South Cross Country Championships for the third year in succession, helping the Flames win the team conference title for the second season in a row.
During the 2006-07 indoor track campaign, McDougal won two more All-America distinctions, placing third at 3,000 meters and eighth at 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Just five days before the national meet, McDougal had blazed to a winning time of 13:37.32 in the 5,000-meter final at the IC4A Championships in Boston. The effort, then a personal best, represented the fastest 5K time in the world during the indoor season. McDougal additionally won the Big South indoor mile and 3,000-meter championships, helping the Flames capture the conference team title for the 10th straight time.
McDougal then enjoyed the finest outdoor track season of his career, setting personal bests in the 1,500 meters, mile, 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, and claiming another pair of All-America recognitions. At the recently completed NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, McDougal placed third at 10,000 meters and finished fourth at 5,000 meters, despite being the only male to attempt the distance double at the meet.
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 also held up as 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.
McDougal's season 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, enabling Liberty to 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.
The year of racing is not quite complete for McDougal, who is slated to participate in the men's 10,000-meter final at this coming week's AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The event is scheduled for Thursday evening, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Big South Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
2007 Josh McDougal, Liberty
2006 Josh McDougal, Liberty
2005 Josh McDougal, Liberty
2004 Paulvince Obuon, VMI
2003 Goran Nava, Radford
2002 Rod Lorick, Winthrop
2001 Mike Decker, Liberty
Big South Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
2007 Tiffany Evans, Radford
2006 Tiffany Evans, Radford
2005 Chasity Johnson, Coastal Carolina
2004 Amber Campbell, Coastal Carolina
2003 Amber Campbell, Coastal Carolina
2002 Heather Sagan, Liberty
2001 Jolene Williams, Coastal Carolina