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September 18, 2009

2009 Season - Tight grouping leads to third place finish

NORMAL, Illinois – A 35 second gap between the top five runners helped propel Augustana to an impressive third place showing in the college division of the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship on Friday, September 18. The meet, which was run at the Illinois State University Golf Course in Normal, Illinois, featured all the colleges and universities in the state. The Vikings, currently ranked 11th in the latest NCAA Division III poll, scored 91 points.

North Central, the number one ranked team in the nation, won the 25 team event with 33 points. Rend Lake was second with 46 while Olivet Nazarene took fourth with 113 and McKendree was fifth with 147. The race was actually combined with the university division and overall Augustana placed seventh, defeating such NCAA Division I schools as Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois. In the overall meet the Vikings scored 183 points.

Sophomore Billy Wisser (Hersey HS, Mount Prospect, Ill.) was the top finisher for veteran head coach Paul Olsen’s team. He finished 14th with a time of 25:32, followed closely into the finish chute by senior Dan Bailey (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.). Bailey was 15th in 25:34. Sophomore Mike Tisza (Hersey HS, Mount Prospect, Ill.) finished 18th in 25:46. Senior Chris Zook (Normal Community HS, Normal, Ill.) placed 26th and was clocked in 26:01. Senior Brian Hart (University City HS, St. Louis, Missouri) was the fifth man in 29th place with a time of 26:07.

Between Wisser and Hart there was a split of just :35. Freshman Jonathan Smith (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) finished 30th in 26:11 and junior Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Elburn, Ill.) was 34th in 26:20. The gap between Wisser, as first man and Bowman, as seventh man, was a very good 48 seconds.
 
There were seven other Vikings who competed in the varsity race. Junior Brad Keating (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) took 36th in 26:24 to lead that pack. Freshman Nathan Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.) was 41st in 26:31 and freshman Brian Pollastrini (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) placed 49th in 26:45. Sophomore Thomas Christian (Port Angeles HS, Port Angeles, Wash.) was 55th in 26:54 with senior Tom Ries (Iowa City Regina HS, Iowa City, Iowa) grabbing 59th in 26:59. Freshman Kyle McNicholas (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) was 65th in 27:05 and sophomore Brandon Gittelman (Naperville Central HS, Naperville, Ill.) took 80th in 27:24.

Augustana will be back in action on Friday, September 25 at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational, which will be run on Credit Island in Davenport, Iowa.