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May 23, 2009

2009 Season - Kubiak, Christensen earn All-America honors

The Augustana Vikings came away from the NCAA Division III national outdoor men’s track & field championships with a pair of All-Americans. Senior Andy Kubiak (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.) ended his career in fine fashion by finishing fifth in the 3000 meter steeplechase while freshman Phil Christensen (Kaneland HS, Maple Park, Ill.) took sixth in the discus. The meet was held over the weekend of May 21-23 at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio.

Kubiak ran the fastest time of his career and his time of 9:05.36 is the third fastest in Augustana history. He trails just the school record of 8:58.04 set by national champion Sandu Rebenciuc in 1993 and the 9:02.73 of All-American Rob Jensen in 1981. He moved ahead of All-American Nick Johnson, who ran 9:06.29 in 2006. Peter Kosgei of Hamilton College won the race with a time of 8:56.67 while Paul Zdroik of Wisconsin-LaCrosse took second in 8:57.87 and Kyle O’Brien of SUNY-Cortland was third in 8:57.96. Chris Wirtz of Wisconsin-Eau Claire finished just ahead of Kubiak with a clocking of 9:03.95.

Christensen uncorked a toss of 162’ 5” in the discus to take sixth place. He threw that distance on his very first throw of the competition and he won his flight in the preliminary round. He entered the finals in third place but was passed by two other throwers and slid to sixth place. Earlier this season Christensen set a new school record with a throw of 170’ 8” on May 15 at the Augustana Twilight Qualifier. Tony Baker of Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the event at the national meet with a mark of 165’ 8”.

Senior Ted McMillan (Erie HS, Cordova, Ill.) has been battling hamstring problems all season and he was unable to place in either of the two events he competed in. He ran :54.59 in the preliminary round of the 400 hurdles and did not clear a height in the high jump. He won both of those events as a sophomore in 2007. McMillan ends his career with a total of 12 All-American certificates.

Junior Darin Decker (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) competed in the hammer throw but his toss of 166’ 6” placed him seventh in his flight and he did not make the finals.

Augustana finished the meet in 44th place with seven team points.