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We Are the Champions, Again

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The best cross-country program you've never heard of competes for North Central College, a school of 2,700 students in Naperville, Ill. The Cardinals have won 45 consecutive College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin titles, 30 regional titles and 19 Division III titles—including their third straight, last month. Leading them was Dhruvil Patel (right), who was in FACES IN THE CROWD in the Dec. 18, 2017, issue after his third-place finish in the 8,000 meters helped the team claim its 18th D-III championship. This year Patel won that event, crossing the finish line at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wis., in 24:24.5. A senior from Skokie, Ill., Patel will now compete in distance races for North Central's track team, which was the national runner-up both indoors and outdoors last season.