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Cross Country runner Michael Crouch hits his stride

01/27/11 -  

Back when he was a high school senior, Michael Crouch had clear goals in mind when he was comparing colleges.

"I wanted to run a 13:30 or less 5,000-meter race, break the four-minute mark in the mile and win a national title," he says.

As a native of Yucca Valley, Calif., Crouch had not traveled further east than Nevada prior to coming to Queens for a visit. But he'd heard of Head Cross Country Couch Scott Simmons and believed he could help him attain his goals.

"Simmons gave me the most attention of all the coaches I visited with," Crouch said. "He also felt I could do my best and believed I had the most potential. Coming here and running for Simmons felt good."

As for his goals, Crouch - now a senior at Queens - has captured a trio of national titles: one in outdoor track, one for indoor track and most recently Queens' first-ever cross country title.  He has come close to that four minute mark, 4:04, but the 13:30 is still hanging out there, ready to be accomplished.

"I had goals that I accomplished before coming to Queens and I have accomplished goals while at Queens, and this 13:30 reminds me to get back to my roots, to visualize and to just run. I know this year I can hit that 13:30 mark."

He recently led his team to a no. 7 national ranking, and earned a spot on the NCAA Southeast All-Region Team.

"It has been great to see Michael close out his senior year in this fashion," said Head Coach Scott Simmons. "His conference win at home was the icing on the cake for our men's repeat title."




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