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McDougal NCAA Division I Athlete of the Year

November 21, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Josh McDougal has been recognized by the USTFCCCA twice in the past two weeks. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

Josh McDougal has been recognized by the USTFCCCA twice in the past two weeks. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

Liberty senior Josh McDougal, the 2007 NCAA Division I men's cross country national champion, earned another honor on Wednesday. He was tabbed NCAA Division I Men's Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the second time in as many weeks McDougal (Peru, N.Y.) has been recognized by the USTFCCCA. A week ago, he was honored as Southeast Region Men's Athlete of the Year, after winning his third NCAA Division I Southeast Regional individual title (Nov. 10).

McDougal won all five races he entered during his senior cross country season and finished his Liberty career having placed first in 23-of-27 cross country races. His 2007 campaign culminated with his first NCAA national title, as McDougal held off Oregon's Galen Rupp by one second, Monday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind. His 10K time of 29:22.4 set a new Liberty and Big South Conference record.

McDougal also improved upon his own Liberty and Big South 8K standards this season, on the same course in Terre Haute. He won the Pre-Nationals championship (Oct. 13) for the third-straight year, stopping the clock in 22:56.4. The time also established a new course record.

The 12-time All-American's other victories during the 2007 cross country season came at the Notre Dame Invitational (Sept. 28) and the New Balance Big South Cross Country Championships (Oct. 27). McDougal became the first runner in Big South history to win the conference meet four times and only the 10th runner in NCAA history to win four-consecutive individual conference cross country titles.

McDougal also helped the Liberty men's cross country team win its third-straight Big South team championship and record its best placing at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, fifth.