Cross Country Champ
Dec. 3, 2010
By Dan DiVeglio, Sports Information Department
It's hard to believe that Megan Hogan only began running competitively four years ago.
In 2007, the former high school and college basketball star quit the basketball team at Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass. to transfer to GW and launch her running career.
More than three years later, Hogan has become one of the top collegiate runners in the country.
This fall, Hogan won the Atlantic 10 individual championship. She also received the A-10 women's cross country Performer of the Year Award as well as the Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete of the Year Award.
In November, Hogan finished eighth in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, clinching an All-American status for the second year in a row.
"She will be remembered as one of the most accomplished student-athletes in the history of GW athletics," says Brian Beil, GW cross country coach.
So what's next for Megan Hogan?
"In all honesty, I don't know what the future holds for me, but I know I want to run and compete at an elite level," says Hogan. "I'm just going to let things happen. I'm leaning towards going professional right now."
Regardless of what Hogan decides to do, the goal will remain the same - qualify for the International Association of Athletics Federation World Championships in Daegu, South Korea in August 2011.
The road to qualifying for the World Championships is a difficult one but Hogan is familiar with the process. Last year she competed in the same races critical in the qualifying process, including the Stanford Invitational and the USA Track and Field Championships.
"I think these races were important for me because I became exposed to professional competition and how I match up against them," says Hogan. "Those races were great experiences for me. I think that these races also helped my confidence because they made me realize that I can run professionally in the future."
In order to advance to the World Championships, Hogan will have to first qualify for the USA Track and Field Championships. Last spring, she ran to a fifth-place finish among many of the NCAA's top long distance runners at the Stanford Invitational. Her time of 32:34.95 allowed her to advance to the USA Track and Field Championships where she finished sixth. She was the second fastest collegiate athlete with a time of 32:52.84 and finished just 46 seconds behind the winner.
Hogan will have to replicate her performance at the Stanford Invitational, followed by finishing in the top three at the U.S. Championships while achieving a time of 31:45.00 in order to advance to the World Championships.
The only other collegiate runner to finish ahead of Hogan at last spring's US Championships was Lisa Koll of Iowa State. Koll is a four-time NCAA Division I Champion and the NCAA record holder for the 10K. She is now a professional runner for Nike under head coach Jerry Schumacher. Despite being competitors on the track, Hogan considers Koll a personal hero and would like to follow a similar path in the sport, including becoming a professional distance runner.
"Lisa Koll is someone I look up to; she has motivated me ever since the Stanford Invite. Before last spring, I had never even heard of her, she just came out of nowhere dominating races and breaking records" said Hogan. "She is a very gutsy runner too, which is something I am trying to work on. Basically, she has influenced me in that she keeps me determined and motivated to get to the next level of running. Her success drives me to work hard to get to where she is at and at the same time set realistic goals for myself"
Hogan is the fifth student-athlete in GW history to garner consecutive All-American honors. Baseball player Jodie Wampler, B.S. '73; diver Jeannie Dahnk, B.A. '81; baseball player Kevin Fitzgerald, B.A. '85 ; and basketball player Jennifer Shasky, B.A. '93 , have all received All-American honors.
Hogan is also the first athlete in GW history to win an individual Atlantic 10 championship and qualify for NCAA Cross Country Championship.
"I am proud of my collegiate career," says Hogan. "I expected nothing and achieved more than I could ever ask for from this sport. It not only has become something I have gained enormous success from but also something that I love more than anything."