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Taking a look at two exceptional female runners

July 7, 2017
Elizabeth Dawson SUBMITTED PHOTO

This week I am profiling two female distance runners who have Seashore Striders ties - Madison MacElrevey and Elizabeth Dawson. MacElrevey is from Lewes and is currently a student at Otterbein University in Ohio, while Dawson is from Clemson, S.C., and is a student at Clemson University. Both impressive students also compete at the collegiate level for their school’s cross country team.

Madison MacElrevey

Lewes resident and 2015 Cape Henlopen graduate Madison MacElrevey is currently in China studying abroad, learning about the panda bear. MacElrevey is a third-year student at Otterbein University and is in the zoo and conservation science program, while also competing on the cross country and track team. MacElrevey has been a regular in Seashore Striders events during her running career as well as a member of the Seashore Striders cross country team for which her dad, Danny, has been the assistant coach for many years.

I recently heard from Madison. She told me about her participation in an event called The Entrepreneurs Xinglong Lake Healthy Running Friendship Match. It was a 10K loop and took place around a lake. There were teams of eight runners with at least two girls on each team and they had to finish as a team. Each team had different-colored vests and had to carry a flag. There were different heats, but MacElrevey did not know how the heats were decided. One of the main sponsors was URG. URG is a running store that also hosts a running club that meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.

While at Otterbein in 2015, MacElrevey participated in five cross country races to earn her first varsity letter and ran a season-best 5K time of 21:01 at the JennaStrong Invitational.

While at Cape, MacElrevey was a four-year letter winner in cross country, basketball, and track and field, a three-time first team all-conference selection and a two-time county cross country champion. 

Elizabeth Dawson

Redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Dawson is from Clemson, S.C., going to high school at D.W. Daniel High School, where she was a four-time all-state performer in track and field and a two-time all-state performer in cross country. In 2013, Dawson was an AAA runner-up in cross-country her senior year, and an AAA state track champion in the two-mile event. She was also all-state in the two-mile event in 2011 and 2014. Dawson helped her team win the AAA state track title in 2013 in her junior year.

In 2015, running for the Tigers, Dawson competed in every cross country meet for Clemson, placing in four of the meets. She was the team's No. 4 finisher at the Southeast Regionals in Charlottesville, Va., with a 6K time of 23:12. Dawson also posted the team's fourth-best time at the season-opening Winthrop Challenge in South Carolina. One of her former coaches was Clemson distance great Jim Haughey. Academically, Dawson is majoring in genetics.

Many of my readers are likely wondering why am I featuring this Clemson runner named Dawson. If you were a racer with the Seashore Striders in the 1990s, then you know the name Dawson. Elizabeth’s dad Paul Dawson, a regular weekly racer who came from Salisbury, Md., won more races at the beach than anyone in that decade. Paul would make the weekly trek while at times he would also leave late in the week and come from the Clemson area to race with the Striders.

Dr. Paul L. Dawson is a professor of food science. He received his undergraduate degree from Salisbury University, his master’s from the University of Florida, and his doctorate from North Carolina State University. During this time, he also worked for Perdue Farms. After a two-year post-doctorate at NCSU, he joined the food science and human nutrition department at Clemson University in 1991. Since joining Clemson, he has focused on food safety/quality research, including meat safety and shelf life, bio-based and active packaging films, nanotechnology applications in food safety and animal co-product safety.

As impressive as Dawson was in the late ’80s while he was in his 30s, he was equally exciting in the ’90s, winning race after race at the beach. Looking through some past results, in 1995, Dawson, at the age of 41, ran 16:54 to win the J.J. Corner Market race in Dewey Beach. It’s very seldom, and I honestly do not remember when, we see any of our masters runners turning in a sub-17-minute performance anymore. 

I am not sure we will see Dawson on our starting line again, but he will always be mentioned as one of the great, longtime, consistent  runners of the Seashore Striders Racing Series.

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