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December 1, 2008

2009 Season - 2008 Men's Cross Country Review

Vikings make NCAA Division III national meet for the second straight year and 24th time in school history

For the second consecutive year the Augustana Vikings qualified for the NCAA Division III national meet. Veteran head coach Paul Olsen’s team spent the entire season ranked in the top 15 of the national polls and they finished the campaign with a 21st place finish in the national meet. It was the 24th national meet appearance in the storied history of the men’s cross country program.

This was an interesting year for Olsen and his team as five different runners took turns at being the number one finisher in at least one meet. Freshman Billy Wisser (Hersey HS, Mt. Prospect, Ill.) led the team in three meets (Augustana Open, Brissman/Lundeen Invitational and Dan Huston Invitational) while senior Andy Kubiak (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.) was the top man in two meets (Illinois Intercollegiate Championship and NCAA Midwest Regional) as was Chris Zook (Normal Community HS, Normal, Ill.) (UW-Oshkosh Invitational and NCAA National Championship). Sophomore Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Elburn, Ill.) led the team in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

Instead of being able to count on one runner to be the number one guy, Olsen had to deal with the balance of this team as its strength.

The season started with the Augustana Open way back on August 29 and this meet has always traditionally been one where the freshmen and newcomers get to perform for the first time at the collegiate level. The 2008 version was no different as Olsen turned his youngster loose and Wisser won the meet with a time of 20:13 on a four mile course at the Sunset Marina.

Three weeks later the entire team ran together for the first time when the Vikings toed the starting line at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship in Normal, Illinois. Competing against most of the colleges and universities in the state, the Vikings placed sixth with 179 points. Kubiak led the way with a 19th place finish as Augustana was the second NCAA Division III team in the meet.

A five year winning streak at the Brissman/Lundeen Invitational was snapped on September 27 at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island but the Vikings still ran well. Olivet Nazarene won the team title with 68 points while Augustana was second in the 28 team field with 74 points as Wisser was the top finisher with an eighth place finish. Bowman was also in the top 10 in 10th place.

After a two week gap in the schedule, the Vikings took second among 12 teams at the Dan Huston Invitational at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Wisconsin-LaCrosse won the meet with 43 points while Augustana was second with 62. Once again it was Wisser leading the way as he took sixth.

One week later Augustana tangled with a tremendous field at the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on October 18. No fewer than six teams ranked in the top 20 were in the competition and the Vikings placed a solid fifth with 183 points. Zook was the top place winner in 15th with a time of 24:50.

That set up the CCIW championships and Augustana took second with 65 points as North Central won the team title for the 35th straight year. The Vikings were second for the third straight season and the 27th time in school history. Bowman was the top Augustana finisher in 11th with a time of 25:49.

The all-important NCAA Division III Midwest Regional was next on the agenda and the Vikings came through with a fifth place finish in the meet, which was held at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island. The top five teams qualified for the national meet and Augustana had its second straight trip and the 24th appearance in school history nailed down. North Central (51), Wisconsin-LaCrosse (64), Wisconsin-Stevens Point (83), Wisconsin-Oshkosh (134) and Augustana (182) were the national meet qualifiers from the 39 teams that competed. Kubiak was the top Viking in 26th place as the top five finishers were within 35 seconds of one another.

In the national meet, Augustana placed 21st with 529 points as Zook was the top finisher in 56th place.

During the course of the season the Vikings displayed tremendous consistency, finishing second in three meets (Brissman/Lundeen, Dan Huston and CCIW), fifth in two (Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational and NCAA Midwest Regional) and sixth in another (Illinois Intercollegiate Championship).
2008 CCIW MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP

November 1, 2008
Wisconsin-Parkside Cross Country Course
Kenosha, Wisconsin

TEAM SCORES
PLACE TEAM SCORE
1. North Central 20
2. AUGUSTANA 65
3. Wheaton 67
4. Carthage 130
5. Elmhurst 136
6. Illinois Wesleyan 169
7. North Park 210
8. Millikin 249

INDIVIDUAL TOP 15 (plus Augustana finishers)
PLACE RUNNER SCHOOL TIME
1. Brandon Mull Wheaton 24:47
2. Michael Spain North Central 25:12
3. Kyle Brady North Central 25:21
4. Sean Carlson North Central 25:23
5. Nathaniel Hird North Central 25:24
6. Neal Klein North Central 25:25
7. John Lancaster North Central 25:26
8. Pat Austin Elmhurst 25:35
9. Brian Wurtz Wheaton 25:43
10. Christopher Kane North Central 25:46
11. MATT BOWMAN AUGUSTANA 25:46
12. BILLY WISSER AUGUSTANA 25:51
13. Daniel Buys North Central 25:57
14. ANDY KUBIAK AUGUSTANA 26:12
15. DAN BAILEY AUGUSTANA 26:15

AUGUSTANA FINISHERS
16. SEAN CARMODY AUGUSTANA 26:22
17. CHRIS ZOOK AUGUSTANA 26:23
21. BILLY TENBUSCH AUGUSTANA 26:38
23. KENNY SLOCUM AUGUSTANA 26:43
25. BRAD KEATING AUGUSTANA 27:00

2008 AUGUSTANA CROSS COUNTRY SUPERLATIVES

NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL MEET: Vikings placed 21st in nation at NCAA Division III national meet in Hanover, Indiana on Saturday, November 22…This was the second consecutive national meet appearance for Augustana, coming on the heels of a 15th place finish in 2007…It was the 24th trip to the national meet for the Vikings under the tutelage of veteran coach Paul Olsen, who completed his 43rd year at the helm of the program.

NCAA DIVISION III MIDWEST REGIONAL: Augustana finished fifth in the NCAA Division III Midwest regional on Saturday, November 15 at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Illinois…There were five teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation that competed in the Midwest Regional.

INVITATIONAL FINISHES
Illinois Intercollegiate on 09/19 in Normal, Illinois – 6th of 26 with 179 points
Brissman/Lundeen Invitational on 09/27 in Rock Island, Illinois – 2nd of 27 with 74 points
Dan Huston Invitational on 10/11 in Waverly, Iowa – 2nd of 12 with 62 points
Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on 10/18 in Winneconne, Wisconsin – 5th of 32 with 183 points
CCIW Championship on 11/01 in Kenosha, Wisconsin – 2nd of 8 with 65 points

INDIVIDUAL TOP 10 FINISHES
Augustana Open on 08/31 in Rock Island, Illinois (Sunset Marina) – 1st, Billy Wisser in 20:13…2nd, Billy TenBusch in 20:37…3rd, Thomas Christian in 20:48…4th, Brandon Gittleman in 21:28…6th, Nick Danzy in 22:15…7th, Patrick Manser in 22:20…8th, Dean Burrier in 23:07…9th, Ian Williams in 23:09…10th, Dan Hearne in 23:16.

Brissman-Lundeen Invitational on 09/27 in Rock Island, Illinois (Saukie Golf Course) – 8th, Billy Wisser in 25:46.4…10th, Matt Bowman in 25:55.5.

Dan Huston Invitational on 10/11 in Waverly, Iowa – 6th, Billy Wisser in 26:05…7th, Chris Zook in 26:06…10th, Andy Kubiak in 26:12

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Zac Cupples, Andy Kubiak, Jason Perine, Kenny Slocum, Pat Fritsch, Brian Hart, Tyler Moore, Chris Zook, Matt Bowman, Tim Faith, Ryan Miller, Thomas Christian, Billy TenBusch, Mike Tisza, Billy Wisser

MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER – Matt Bowman, Chris Zook & Andy Kubiak
MOST INSPIRATIONAL – Kenny Slocum
MOST VALUABLE FRESHMAN – Billy Wisser
MOST IMPROVED - Ryan Miller & Sean Carmody

MOST IMPROVED FRESHMAN – Mike Tisza
CAPTAINS FOR 2008 – Andy Kubiak & Kenny Slocum
CAPTAINS-ELECT FOR 2009 – Brian Hart, Dan Bailey & Chris Zook