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DIII Standout Dhru Patel Joins Minnesota Distance Elite
Minneapolis/St. Paul – Jan. 23, 2020 – Dhru Patel, a standout cross country and track athlete at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, has joined Minnesota Distance Elite.  Patel was a six time DIII National Champion and a 13 time DIII All American.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Dhru to the team,” said Chris Lundstrom, Minnesota Distance Elite coach.  “He’s a thoughtful, intelligent individual who developed consistently as a runner throughout his collegiate career.  We expect he will continue to improve, both on the track at 5000m and 10,000m, and on the roads as well.”
Patel, who is from Skokie, Illinois, was a prep runner at Niles North High School.  By the time he finished his collegiate career at North Central in the spring of 2019, he set a DIII 5k collegiate record of 13:51.4, a time that broke a previous record that stood for 42 years.  His other personal bests are 8:16 in the 3000m, 23:51 in the 8k, and 28:50 in the 10,000m.
His DIII National Championships include three times in the 5000m (indoor and outdoor), two times in the 10,000m, and in cross country.  During 2018-19, he was named the 2018 National Athlete of the Year in cross country, the 2019 National Athlete of the Year for indoor track, and the 2019 National Athlete of the Year in outdoor track and field.  Patel is the only men’s athlete in DIII history to win all three awards in the same academic year.
Since graduation, Patel has posted 34:44 at the Bix 7 Mile last July, and 48:37 in the USATF 10 Mile Championships at Twin Cities in October.  He has a B.S. in accounting and finance.
About Minnesota Distance Elite
Minnesota Distance Elite – previously known as Team USA Minnesota – is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Founded in 2001, the purpose of the training group is to improve the competitiveness of post-collegiate American distance runners and to develop Olympians.  The athletes are coached by Chris Lundstrom.  Minnesota Distance Elite’s major sponsors include Twin Cities Orthopedics, Twin Cities In Motion, and the Houston Marathon Foundation.  For more information, visit