I knew plenty of D1 national qualifiers - myself included - that knew how to throw down in college.
1999 XC Champs were on a Monday, so my teammate and I hit the town in Bloomington on Saturday night for a fun evening. I still acquitted myself quite well on race day. I was third in Region and I think 4th Region finisher that day, about 15 seconds from All-American.
I went to Penn and believe me, we saw all kinds of All-Americans and National Champs at the parties on Saturday night after Penn Relays.
Of course, its fair to say that the level of achievement nationwide pales to what it is now, but believe me, that Bud Light in your hand is not the reason you didn't beat Cheserek.