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January 5, 2010

2009 Season - 2009 Men's Cross Country Review

The 2009 cross country season was a special one under veteran head coach, Paul Olsen and assistant coach, Doug Sand as the Vikings were able to place an individual top 10 finisher in eight of their 10 meets this season. The Vikings remained ranked in the top 11 according to the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association for seven of the nine weekly rankings during the course of the season and were fierce competitors in each meet.

The season started with the Augustana Open on September 1 as the Vikings were welcomed back to their home course, Credit Island in Davenport, Iowa. The course was unusable in 2008 after severe flooding during the summer of 2008. This meet has always traditionally been one where the freshmen and newcomers are able to perform for the first time at the collegiate level. The 2009 showing was no different as freshman Nathan Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.) took first place in 21:16 on the four mile course.

The addition of the Western Illinois Invitation in Macomb, Illinois to the 2009 season allowed the team to run its first meet together. The five mile loop course gained the Vikings a first place showing, led by senior and co-captain Dan Bailey (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) in 25:48. It was his showing in this meet that earned Bailey the much deserved honor of being named “Runner of the Week” in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

Two weeks later the team ran together at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship in Normal, Illinois. Competing against most of the colleges and universities in the state, the Vikings placed third with 91 points. Sophomore Billy Wisser (Hersey HS, Mount Prospect, Ill.) led the way with a 13 th place finish in 25:32.

The Vikings took second out of 26 teams at the Brissman/Lundeen Invitational held on Friday, September 25 at Credit Island in Davenport, Iowa. For the second consecutive meet sophomore Wisser led the Vikings with an eighth place finish in 25:46. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point won the team title with 25 points.

After a week break the Vikings traveled to Waverly, Iowa for the Wartburg Invitational for a first place finish. On the cold and windy day senior and co-captain Chris Zook (Normal Community HS, Normal, Ill.) finished third overall in a time of 26:03 on the soft course. It was from this meet on that it was apparent that Zook had a goal in mind for his final cross country season and there was nothing that was going to stop him. That being said, Zook was named “Runner of the Week” in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitation held in Winneconne, Wisconsin featured many familiar competitors and the Vikings came prepared as they finished third of 35 teams, losing only to top ranked North Central and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Zook’s showing was the model for the cross country motto of being “reckless and aggressive” while racing as he finished fifth overall and first for the Vikings with an impressive time of 24:31.

After a week break the team traveled to Elmhurst, Illinois on October 31 for the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin meet. The Vikings finished second overall on the muddy and wet course scoring 54 points. Leading the Vikings for the third straight race, Zook finished eighth overall in 27:21. Following closely behind was freshman and key runner throughout the season, Jonathan Smith (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) who finished ninth overall in 27:26. It was no surprise that Smith was named the “Freshman of the Year” by the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin and was voted “Most Valuable Freshman” by his teammates.

This year with the addition of a Junior Varsity Cup held at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa on Friday, November 6 allowed one more running opportunity for many of the runners. A third place finish for the team with the first and second place finishers both wearing blue and gold, Nathan Smith and Kyle McNicholas (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.), respectively. Smith’s first place finish was clocked at 26:57 followed by McNicholas at 27:03.

The team concluded their season at the Midwest Regional finishing seventh of 39 teams. Maintaining his consistency, Zook again finished first for the Vikings and eighth overall in 24:43. His showing allowed him to advance to the NCAA Division III meet in Cleveland, Ohio on November 21 where he finished 62 nd overall in 26:29. Zook’s success and leadership earned him the honor of being named “Most Valuable Runner”, voted on by his teammates.

As the Vikings look ahead to the upcoming season Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Geneva, Ill.), Sean Carmody (Winnebago HS, Winnebago, Ill.), and Brad Keating (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) have been named the 2010 cross country captains.

2009 CCIW MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP

October 31, 2009 **** Elmhurst, Illinois

TEAM SCORES

PLACE

TEAM

SCORE

1.

North Central

15

2.

AUGUSTANA

54

3.

Wheaton

91

4.

Illinois Wesleyan

116

5.

Carthage

153

6.

Elmhurst

161

7.

North Park

198

8.

Millikin

246

 

INDIVIDUAL TOP 15 (plus Augustana finishers)

PLACE

RUNNER

SCHOOL

TIME

1.

Sean Carlson

North Central

26:33

2.

Michael Spain

North Central

26:34

3.

Kyle Brady

North Central

26:34

4.

Neal Klein

North Central

26:34

5.

Nathan Rutz

North Central

26:34

6.

Ryan Carrigan

North Central

26:59

7.

Alex Knobloch

North Central

27:01

8.

Chris Kane

North Central

27:09

9.

Nathaniel Hird

North Central

27:12

10.

CHRIS ZOOK

AUGUSTANA

27:20

11.

JONATHAN SMITH

AUGUSTANA

27:26

12.

Walter Farris

Illinois Wesleyan

27:29

13.

MATT BOWMAN

AUGUSTANA

27:34

14.

DAN BAILEY

AUGUSTANA

27:36

15.

Colin Christensen

Wheaton

27:40

 

 

 

 

AUGUSTANA FINISHERS

 

 

 

16.

BILLY TENBUSCH

AUGUSTANA

27:49

17.

BRAD KEATING

AUGUSTANA

27:50

18.

BRIAN HART

AUGUSTANA

27:56

26.

MIKE TISZA

AUGUSTANA

28:11

30.

BILLY WISSER

AUGUSTANA

28:21

 

2009 AUGUSTANA CROSS COUNTRY SUPERLATIVES

NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL MEET: Senior and co-captain Chris Zook competed at the national meet individually where he finished 62 nd in the meet with a time of 26:29.

NCAA DIVISION III MIDWEST REGIONAL: Augustana finished 7 th out of 39 teams at the Midwest Regional hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Winneconne, Wisconsin on November 14. Senior and co-captain took 8 th place overall in 24:43 advancing him to the national meet individually.

INVITATIONAL FINISHES

Western Illinois Invitational on 09/04 in Macomb, Illinois – 1 st of 6 with 24 points

Illinois Intercollegiate on 09/18 in Normal, Illinois – 3 rd of 25 with 91 points

Brissman/Lundeen Invitational on 09/25 in Rock Island, Illinois – 2 nd of 26 with 70 points

Dan Huston Invitational on 10/10 in Waverly, Iowa – 1 st of 13 with 37 points

Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on 10/17 in Winneconne, Wisconsin – 3 rd of 35 with 151 points

CCIW Championship on 10/31 in Elmhurst, Illinois – 2 nd of 8 with 54 points

 

INDIVIDUAL TOP 10 FINISHES

Augustana Open on 09/01 in Davenport, Iowa (Credit Island) – 1 st, Nathan Smith in 21:16…2 nd, Jonathan Smith in 21:27…5 th, Kyle McNicholas in 21:41…7 th, Brian Pollastrini in 22:16…9 th, Justin Smith in 22:30…10 th, Dennis O’Flaherty in 22:38.

Early Bird Cross Country Invitational on 09/04 in Macomb, Illinois – 1 st, Dan Bailey in 25:38…3 rd, Billy Wisser in 25:59…5 th, Mike Tisza in 26:06…9 th, Brian Hart in 26:19.

Brissman-Lundeen Invitational on 09/25 in Davenport, Iowa (Credit Island) – 8 th, Billy Wisser in 25:46…9 th, Mike Tisza in 25:51.

Dan Huston Invitational on 10/10 in Waverly, Iowa – 3 rd, Chris Zook in 26:03…5 th, Billy Wisser in 26:16…6 th, Dan Bailey in 26:16.

2009 Brooks Cross Country Invite on 10/17 in Winneconne, Wisconsin – 5 th, Chris Zook in 24:32.

CCIW Conference Cross Country Championships on 10/31 in Elmhurst, Illinois – 8 th, Chris Zook in 27:21…9 th, Jonathan Smith in 27:36

Luther JV Cup on 11/06 in Decorah, Iowa – 1 st, Nathan Smith in 26:57…2 nd, Kyle McNicholas in 27:03.

NCAA DIII Midwest Regional Championship on 11/14 in Winneconne, Wisconsin – 8 th, Chris Zook in 24:43.

 

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Matt Bowman, Thomas Christian, Eric Erspamer, Pat Fritsch, Mike Gillhouse, Brian Hart, Tommy Harris, Jeff Miller, Ryan Miller, Brian Pollastrini, Justin Smith, Nathan Smith, Billy TenBusch, Mike Tisza, Chris Zook

MOST VALUABLE RUNNER – Chris Zook

MOST IMPROVED – Lucas Westblade

MOST VALUABLE FRESHMAN – Jonathan Smith

MOST IMPROVED FRESHMAN – Tommy Harris, Paul Hurd, Kyle McNicholas

MOST INSPIRATIONAL – Dan Bailey, Brian Hart, Jeff Miller, Chris Zook

CAPTAINS FOR 2009 – Dan Bailey, Brian Hart, Chris Zook

CAPTAINS-ELECT FOR 2009 – Matt Bowman, Sean Carmody, Brad Keating

story written by sports information student assistant Robbin Cooley