The 2016 Georgia Military College cross country season came to a close on 12 November at the NJCAA Division III National Championships. The race was contested on the very difficult Bruce Bridgman Cross Country Course at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, New York. The running Bulldog's had been working since the Summer to be in peak form for this race.
The men's race started with a temperature of 42 degrees. Adam Dougherty (Gainesville, FL) and his brother John Dougherty were both in the leading group over the first 2 kilometers. The second portion of the course contained a rolling hills section that really sapped strength from the legs and prevented the runners from getting into a steady rhythm. By point in the race where the leading pack were to have headed up the steep hill, they were accidentally misdirected back onto the lower loop. After about 20 seconds they were guided back onto the course, but the time and distance had started to take its toll. Making the same climb that the women made, allowed those who had not been misdirected to get ahead of the leaders. Not only did they need to attack the hill, but also to regain their position in the race. Speaking of the hill, Dominic Roberts (Las Vegas, NV) said "The course was hard, but fair. It was a great course for the National Championships."
Speaking of the course, Austin Cook (Cochran GA) said "This was the most difficult course we ran on all season. It was very hilly, and with the good competition, it was a great race." John Dougherty led the way for GMC with a 16th place finish. He was 0.1 seconds away from achieving All-American Status. Adam Dougherty was in 28th place. Austin Cook finished in 45th place and Dominic Roberts finished in 76th place. "These young men are amazing" said Coach Sherwood. "They worked so hard this year with the goal of trying to do well in the national race. I will miss Adam and John as well as Dominic. All three are great examples of student-athletes." Despite being misled with the other leaders John Dougherty showed a tremendous amount of character is not sulking after the race. "It is unfortunate that this happened in the National Championships" said Coach Sherwood. "I can not commend John enough for his attitude with regards to the race. It is not something that anyone would wish had happened."
Upon seeing the excitement and the race, Cook stated "Next year, I want to do real well. Time to get training!"
Full results are available here: