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VanDenHangel Finishes 12th at NCAAs

Jun 4th, 2010 | By | Category: Lead 2, News

(From Elizabethtown College)rp_primary_DSC_0240
BEREA, Ohio – Elizabethtown College senior Megan VanDenHengel closed her distinguished four-year career with a 12th-place finish in the women’s steeplechase at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships Friday afternoon at Baldwin-Wallace College.

VanDenHengel was timed at 10:58.30 in the finals, closing a season in which she won the Middle Atlantic Conference championship and qualified for nationals in her first year competing in the event. She ran just three seconds slower than her seed time of 10:55.47 in a race that saw only three of the 18 competitors run faster than their seeds.

For her career, VanDenHengel was a two-time national qualifier in cross country, competing with her Blue Jay teammates in 2007 and finishing 101st out of 280 runners as an individual in 2009. She was also a 2010 provisional qualifier in the 10,000 meters, and earned the Middle Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete Award in cross country and the Outstanding Women’s Student-Athlete Award from Elizabethtown College.

Comments from Coach Straub:

“Megan’s story is a common one here at Elizabethtown. She overcame a lot of obstacles and stayed focused on her goals with great support from teammates, coaches, and family. Many forget, but Megan was just a 12:30 3200m runner from Cumberland Valley High School four years ago. Megan stayed true to her dreams, did everything the right way, made tremendous improvements over her four years, and turned herself into a national-caliber distance runner and team leader. She also student taught throughout the spring semester which many education majors claim is impossible. It isn’t impossible, but it requires tremendous self-discipline, time management, and confidence in your self. There were many, many practices and time spent alone without wavering in what it would take for her to achieve her ambitions. The mental skill set she learned through all of this will serve her well throughout her life and is an incredible example to her teammates. Coach Falk, Coach Hoffsmith, and I are very proud and honored to have worked with such a great athlete and even better person.”

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