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Campus Celebrity: Michael LeDuc

Our first Campus Celebrity of the year is Michael LeDuc! This cross country and track superstar athelete made national headlines by winning and breaking his own record in the 3000-meter steeplechase! 
Major: Botany
Certificate Program: Connecticut Secondary Education Certification
Class Year: 2014
Hometown: Canton, CT
Extracurricular activities: Honor Council Representative, 1 in 4 Member, Cross Country, Track and Field

We hear you are a national champion and broke your own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.  Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about your experience and your accomplishments?
Certainly. My teammates, coaches, and I have been working towards this goal for a few years now. It seemed like a real possibility after I finished fourth at the championship the previous year. Being close to that goal but not fully accomplishing it really caused me to work hard all throughout the summer and school year leading up to the race. The race itself went about as well as it could have. I almost fell down with about 75 meters left, but other than that I followed the plan that my coach and I had discussed in the weeks leading up to the race. 
How does it feel to have this title? 
Frankly it feels pretty unbelievable. The finish was close enough that I wasn’t sure if I had won. In the seconds following the race before they announced the winner I had a whole range of emotions. One second I felt as if I had won, and the next second it was as if I had lost. Once they finally said my name I just felt so relieved that the hard training had paid off. 
Oddly enough I made it my goal to win the D3 national championship while I was still in high school– little did I know how challenging that would be, so accomplishing this goal has been very fulfilling. My teammates and I put in a lot of long hours training together to make this accomplishments a possibility, and that team atmosphere has been one of the best parts of this experience. A lot of people think of running as an individual sport, but the community of runners, coaches, friends, family, and my girlfriend that I surround myself with have made my success a possibility. Having the title of national champion feels rewarding in that it is a reflection of the support I have received from so many people.
How long have you been running for and how did you get started? 
I started running as a little kid mostly to evade my two brothers when they were chasing me because I inevitably pissed them off in some way. I began to compete in middle school, but I still considered soccer my best sport until my senior year in high school when I switched from soccer to cross country. I started to take running pretty seriously my senior year and I have been enjoying it ever since. 
Where is your favorite place to run on campus? 
My favorite place would have to be Pine Forest – it is a small loop in a stand of pine trees on the north end of campus. 
How many miles do you run in a week? 
My teammates and I all run between 75 and 105 miles each week year round, depending on where we are in our season.  
Have you ever been tempted to break the rules and run in the Arbo? 
Running in the arbo is against the rules? 
I'm a junior at Connecticut College. Psychology major and Dance and Art History double minor. I'm involved in dance (Dance Club, Dance Department, and Fusion), Habitat for Humanity, Green Dot Graduate, and Her Campus Conn Coll at school.http://www.hercampus.com/school/conn-coll/campus-celebrity-marisa-barnard 
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