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2005 NCAA Cross Country Regional Recaps: Southeast Region Report
by Chris Lear

Editor's note: Chris Lear, author of the two esteemed running books, Running with the Buffaloes and Sub 4, was the college roommate of LetsRun.com co-founder Robert Johnson. A prep stud, Chris Lear, aka 'the Chief' currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
    If you're interested in learning more about distance running be sure to attend his 2006 Rocky Mountain Distance Summit in Boulder, Colorado  which features some of the top minds and athletes in the sport.

Here are some quick impressions from a somewhat warm, if otherwise perfect day for cross country in Greenville, NC. It was a day that featured dominating performances by the Duke women and Liberty's Josh McDougal.

The men's race went off first. It was quickly a two-person race between Josh McDougal of Liberty and Jacob Korir of Eastern Kentucky with a large pack in pursuit and willing to let those two duel it out for top honors. By midway (passed in about 14:20 according to McDougal), McDougal had broken Korir and was in cruise control.

He remained in cruise through 8k (in about 23:30) and at that point had about 30 seconds on Korir. He developed a side stitch about then, and given his lead, decided to cruise in the rest of the way. Despite easing it in, he still got the course record (though I'm not sure how long this course has been used.)

I'll say this about McDougal's run: I've seen a lot of dominating performances through the years, and McDougal's today was as virtuosic as I've seen on the collegiate level. There wasn't a moment that he looked out of control, his stride looked absolutely fluid and controlled while rolling through 8k, and if you've seen his logs online, you know that he's strong as an ox. He confirmed afterwards that, stitch aside - something that has only happened to him a few times in all his years running - he's stronger than he's ever been in his life; he said his workouts have really come around in the past few weeks while he hasn't eased up much on his mileage. His intention today was to send a bit of a statement that he'll be ready to roll in Terre Haute. I don't know enough about what's going on elsewhere to make an educated guess on his chances, but this much is certain: it's gonna take some damn good running to keep McDougal from the NCAA title...
*
Men's Resutls

The Duke women are in the midst of a perfect season, and if they felt any nerves before the race, it certainly wasn't evident. I've seldom seen a team so relaxed and composed before the start. Their collective demeanor was no different than that of their coach Kevin Jermyn, when I approached him moments before the start, which tells me two things: they're taking some cues from him, and they know how good they really are.

Within 2k it was apparent that this was just another day at the office for the Dukies. At that point their top 7 were all in the top 20 and running under control. They dominated the race the rest of the way, and Shannon Rowbury put an exclamation point on the victory with a strong close to finish a few strides ahead of her teammate, Clara Horowitz.

I caught up with Rowbury after the race and she felt it was a controlled effort all the way. She felt good, as did all the other Dukies, with the exception of senior Natasha Roetter, who took a spill in a tangle with an NC State runner at some point in the race. While the Duke women were gathering to cool down, the NC State runner in question came over to the Duke squad to apologize for the tangle classy move.

The nation's other top teams should be forewarned though, given how good the Blue Devils appeared today, tripping the women up in Terre Haute may be the only way to derail their title hopes.
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Women's Resutls

Don't miss the 2006, Rocky Mountain Distance Summit in Boulder, Colorado  which features some of the top minds and athletes in the sport.


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