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October 10, 2009

2009 Season - Vikings knock off two top 10 teams at Wartburg

Last week the Augustana men’s cross country team dropped five places in the NCAA Division III national rankings despite not running in a meet. That might change this week after the showing put on by veteran head coach Paul Olsen’s team. The Vikings were impressive in winning the Dan Huston Invitational at Warburg College in Waverly, Iowa on Saturday, October 10.

Augustana, ranked 18th in the latest NCAA Division III poll, defeated two teams ranked in the top 10 to win the meet with just 37 points. Wisconsin-Platteville, ranked ninth, was second with 41 points while Wisconsin-LaCrosse, the third ranked team in NCAA Division III, placed third with 90 points. Carleton took fourth (132), Wartburg was fifth (133) and Cornell placed sixth (134). Coming into the meet Wartburg was ranked eighth in the Central Region while Cornell was seventh.
Northern Iowa, an NCAA Division I school, finished seventh with 193 points. Loras (220), Simpson (247), North Iowa Community (264), Wartburg Alumni (331), Grinnell (337) and Buena Vista (411) rounded out the field.

Senior Chris Zook (Normal Community HS, Normal, Ill.) led a tight Augustana pack with a third place finish and a time of 26:03 over the 8,000 meter course. The Vikings had a mere 19 second time differential between the first and five runners as they grouped nicely at the front of the race. Jason Garvins of Wisconsin-Platteville won the individual race with a time of 25:49 while Andrew Tobben of Cornell was second in 26:00, just three seconds ahead of Zook.

After Zook finished, his teammates bunched nicely behind him. Sophomore Billy Wisser (Hersey HS, Mt. Prospect, Ill.) came through with a fifth place in 26:14 and senior Dan Bailey (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) was right on his heels with a sixth place time of 26:16. Sophomore Billy TenBusch (Prairie Ridge HS, Cary, Ill.) took 11th in 26:21 and senior Brian Hart (University City HS, St. Louis, Missouri) cemented the victory with a 12th place finish in 26:22.

Junior Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Elburn, Ill.) was 14th in 26:25 with freshman Jonathan Smith (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) grabbing 15th in 26:26. The time differential between Zook as the first man and Smith, in the seventh position,  was a mere 19 seconds.

Augustana, which has only lost to two NCAA Division III schools this year – top ranked North Central at the Illinois Intercollegiate meet on September 11 and seventh rated Wisconsin-Stevens Point at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational on September 25 – will run at the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on Saturday, October 17.