Yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin Australia`s Morgan McDonald won the NCAA Cross Country title for the Wisconsin Badgers. Clonliffe Harrier Mick Byrne is the head coach at Wisconsin and is Morgan`s coach.
(pictured, Morgan McDonald wins NCAA XC 17th Nov, 2018)
(pictured, Morgan McDonald no. 6, 2nd Morton Mile 12th July 2017)
In furtherance of the Clonliffe connection members may well recall Morgan, attired with bushy beard, finishing 2nd in the 2017 Morton Mile. He redshirted the 2017 campaign envisioning winning the NCAA individual title on his home turf at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course during his last year of eligibility.
Everything he and The Prince hoped for worked to a dream yesterday as McDonald pulled away from top-ranked Grant Fisher of Stanford down the stretch to win the NCAA championship with the home crowd going absolutely wild.
“As soon as we thought that we might be hosting nationals when I was a sophomore, maybe even a freshman, this is something that we knew down the line might be an option,” said McDonald. “This was 100 percent the reason. This and we thought the team could be a bit better. It was all centered around this 2018 nationals held in Madison with a Badger crowd. It was all about that.”
“We decided at that time, that we would put all of our focus into today,” Wisconsin coach Mick Byrne said. “He started training May 1. To go through six months of training, as the months passed by, just mounting up to just trying to win this at home in front of this amazing crowd.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an NCAA crowd like this. The numbers I don’t know, but incredible event. To do it at home is just amazing.”
Congratulations from all here in Santry.