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McGown was Wayne State's first NCAA All-American in cross country and second in track and field during a stellar running career from 1994-98. He was a two-time NCAA national qualifier in cross country (1995 and .97) and finished third at the 1995 NCAA Regional meet with a new school record time of 31:41 on the 10,000 meter course. In 1997, McGown placed 28th at NCAA National Meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin to become first All-American in cross country since AD Benson was NAIA All-American in 1966. In track and field, McGown was an NCAA All-American in 1998 indoor season with fourth place finish in the 5,000 meter run (14:34.19). Making his 1997 and 1998 accomplishments even more impressive was that he sat out the 1996 season with a knee injury. After graduating from WSC, McGown has stayed active in running competing in marathons at the Olympic Trials in 2004 and 2008. He recently won the USATF Marathon Trails Championships in Deadwood, South Dakota. McGown currently serves as head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Sidney High School in Sidney, Nebraska. James McGown was inducted into the WSC Athletics Hall of Fame on October 11, 2008.