Notebook: Three-peat Honors for Butler's Mitchell
LIGHTING IT UP: Liberty's Josh McDougal set a course record at the Pre-National Meet held on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 15. The meet is a preview to the national title race as the NCAA Division I Championships will be held on the same course on Nov. 21.
The sophomore from Peru, N.Y., clocked a time of 23:12.6 in the 8K race to finish first in the event's White Race and earn USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week honors. McDougal's mark was 28 seconds faster than the course record set earlier in the day by BYU's Josh Rohatinsky in the meet's Blue Race. He has set six course records in his career, and placed first in 11 of 12 races that he has competed in for the Flames. The time also bettered McDougal's Big South Conference record of 23:49 set last season.
McDougal's individual success has helped the team rise in the rankings as the Flames are fourth in the latest Southeast Regional rankings, the highest a Big South team has ever received.
"We feel we have the strongest team, we've ever had at Liberty," said head coach Brant Tolsma. "It's nice to see that others are starting to recognize that as well."
THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM: Butler's Victoria Mitchell garnered Horizon League Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week after winning first place in the Pre-National Meet hosted by Indiana State University on Oct. 15. It is the third time this season she has been honored by the conference.
Mitchell, a senior from Mansfield, Victoria, won the Blue Race at the competition in a time of 20:01.8, just tenths of a second in front of Columbia's Caroline Bierbaum. Also the winner of the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track & Championship, Mitchell was the fastest woman of 238 runners in the event.
The Bulldogs placed 11th in the team standings of the Blue Race.
TOP HOGS: Perennial men's cross country national contender Arkansas cruised to victory as the host of the Chile Pepper Invitational on Oct. 15 as five Razorbacks finished in the top 16. The top-ranked Hogs won the meet with 57 points, followed by No. 5 Arizona (93 points) and No. 11 Texas El-Paso (94).
Senior Josphat Boit turned in a record performance, running a time of 28:27 on the 10K course, for his the seventh first-place finish of his career, and second straight Chile Pepper Invitational crown. Boit, a native of Eldoret, Kenya, bested the old mark of 28:42 set by David Kimani of Alabama in 2002.
The Razorbacks held on to the No. 1 spot in the Oct. 18 national rankings for the second straight poll after taking it over for the first time since the 2000 season. Arkansas, a winner of 11 NCAA Championships, has not won a title since 2000.
MOVING UP: The Stanford women's cross country squad moved up to second in the Division I rankings, behind consensus No. 1 Duke, after a convincing victory at the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 15. The Cardinal finished first of 35 teams, including 12 teams ranked in the Top 25.
Arianna Lambie and Teresa McWalters placed third and fourth, respectively, in the event's Blue Race on the 6,000-meter course. Lambie clocked a time of 20:10.03, while McWalters followed with a mark of 20:14.5 as the Cardinal racked up 86 points to beat out No. 8 Notre Dame (147 points).