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December 1, 2005

2005 Men's Cross Country Review

Balanced Vikings end season ranked 30th in NCAA Division III in Paul Olsen’s 40th year as head coach; Adam Houghton earns MVP honors

Balance was a trait exhibited all season long by the Augustana Vikings men’s cross country team in the 40th season with Paul Olsen as the head coach. The Vikings were their usual successful selves as they finished the year ranked 30th in the final NCAA Division III national poll. An uncharacteristically off day in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional meet cost them in their attempt to qualify for the national meet but it was a fine season nonetheless.

The balance was evident in the fact that the team competed in eight meets throughout the season and five times a different runner finished as number one for the Vikings. There was no single, dominant performer on this team. Senior Adam Houghton (Havana HS, Havana, Ill.) was named as the Most Valuable Performer and his season-long record was a microcosm of the strength of the Vikings.

He finished as the number one runner just twice, in the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on October 15 when he was 32nd and in the Midwest Regional when he was 23rd and just missed qualifying for the national meet. His effort was the model of consistency, however, as he was fourth man once, third twice, second twice and number one twice.

Besides Houghton, juniors Jeff Bailey (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) and Tim Frey (Hersey HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.), sophomore Dan Leonard (Fremd HS, Palatine, Ill.) and freshman Andy Kubiak (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.) formed a solid nucleus. All but Frey took turns as the number one finisher for the Vikings at some point during the season.

After an impressive performance in the non-scoring Augustana Open to start the season on September 2, the Blue and Gold placed a solid third at the Luther Invitational in Decorah, Iowa on September 10 with Kubiak leading the way with an eighth place finish. Two weeks later the Vikings turned in their best outing of the year as they won their own Brissman/Lundeen Invitational at Credit Island on September 23. It was the third straight championship in this meet, which this year included 32 teams. Augustana had just a 20 second gap between the number one finisher, Bailey in fifth with a time of 24:58 and the number five runner, Kubiak in 19th at 25:18.

After a 10th place finish at the always-tough Notre Dame Invitational on September 30, the Vikings sent a split squad to the Ashford Invitational in Clinton, Iowa on October 1. With Curt Hurd (Aurora Central Catholic HS, Aurora, Ill.) leading the way with a second place finish and Nick Stirrett (Champaign Central HS, Champaign, Ill.) taking third, Augustana won the meet with 28 points.

At this point in the season Olsen’s team climbed all the way to 10th in the NCAA Division III national poll. Two weeks later the Vikings placed sixth at the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational.

In the CCIW championship, which was held at Credit Island and hosted by Augustana, the Vikings placed third in the closest league meet in years. North Central won for the 32nd straight time but the Cardinals had a close call, scoring 45 points while Wheaton was second with 47 followed by Augustana just eight points back. Leonard was the top finisher, taking fifth in 25:02 with Houghton in eighth at 25:07.

Facing a stacked field at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Illinois on November 12, the Vikings were disappointed by their ninth place finish in the field of 34 teams. Houghton led the way with his 23rd place finish.

Houghton was voted the team’s MVP at the end of the season and sophomores Alex Geocaris (Stevenson HS, Lincolnshire, Ill.) and Brad Holehan (Joliet Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) shared the Most Improved Runner honor. Kubiak was named Most Valuable Freshman and Matt Fulton (Hersey HS, Mount Prospect, Ill.) won Most Improved Freshman honors. Stirrett took home the Most Inspiration Runner trophy. Captains-elect for the 2006 season are Bailey, Frey and Tony Clavio (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.).

2005 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN CHAMPIONSHIP

October 29, 2005 *** Credit Island *** Davenport, Iowa

TEAM SCORES

PLACE

TEAM

SCORE

1.

North Central

45

2.

Wheaton

47

3.

AUGUSTANA

55

4.

Elmhurst

108

5.

Carthage

125

6.

Millikin

167

7.

Illinois Wesleyan

203

8.

North Park

258

 

INDIVIDUAL TOP TEN & AUGUSTANA FINISHERS

PLACE

RUNNER

SCHOOL

TIME

1.

Chris Bosworth

North Central

24:38.5

2.

Matt Field

Wheaton

24:47.0

3.

Brandon Mull

Wheaton

24:56.1

4.

Tim Henry

Wheaton

24:56.5

5.

Dan Leonard (Fremd HS, Palatine, Ill.)

AUGUSTANA

25:02.9

6.

Mike White

Carthage

25:05.4

7.

Mike Ptack

Elmhurst

25:05.6

8.

Adam Houghton (Havana HS, Havana, Ill.)

AUGUSTANA

25:07.9

9.

Paul Rollet

North Central

25:08.0

10.

Steve Albanese

North Central

25:08.9

11.

Andy Kubiak (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.)

AUGUSTANA

25:10.2

14.

Tim Frey (Hersey HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.)

AUGUSTANA

25:16.5

17.

Tony Clavio (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.)

AUGUSTANA

25:22.9

21.

Matt Fulton (Hersey HS, Mount Prospect, Ill.)

AUGUSTANA

25:29.2

26.

Jeff Bailey (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.)

AUGUSTANA

25:38.1

2005 AUGUSTANA MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY SUPERLATIVES

MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER: Adam Houghton

MOST IMPROVED PERFORMER: Alex Geocaris & Brad Holehan

MOST VALUABLE FRESHMAN: Andy Kubiak

MOST IMPROVED FRESHMAN: Matt Fulton

MOST INSPIRATIONAL: Nick Stirrett

CAPTAINS-ELECT FOR 2006: Jeff Bailey, Tim Frey and Tony Clavio

CCIW TOP TEN INDIVIDUALS: 5th – Dan Leonard…8th – Adam Houghton

CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Tim Frey…Brad Holehan…Adam Houghton…Curt Hurd…Ben McCready…Nick Stirrett

TEAM CHAMPIONS: Brissman/Lundeen Invitational on 09/23/05 with 59 points in 32 team meet…Ashford Invitational on 10/01 with 28 points in six team meet

 

TOP TEN INDIVIDUAL FINISHES IN INVITATIONALS

LUTHER INVITATIONAL (09/10/05): 8th – Andy Kubiak in 21:12…9th – Dan Leonard in 21:16

BRISSMAN/LUNDEEN INVITATIONAL (09/23/05): 5th – Jeff Bailey in 24:58…8th – Dan Leonard in 25:02

ASHFORD INVITATIONAL (10/01/05): 2nd – Curt Hurd in 27:21…3rd – Nick Stirrett in 27:25…5th – Ben Coon in 28:26…8th – Alex Geocaris in 29:02…10th – Logan Beausoleil in 29:04