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June 1, 2001

2001 MEN'S OUTDOOR TRACK REVIEW

TONY BONUCCI & DAVID DEMPSEY EARN ALL-AMERICAN HONORS AS VIKINGS FINISH 2001 SEASON RANKED 11TH IN FINAL NCAA DIVISION III POWER RANKINGS; BONUCCI & DEMPSEY SHARE MOST VALUABLE FIELD ATHLETE HONORS WHILE BRAD BLAKE IS MOST VALUABLE TRACK ATHLETE

 

A pair of athletes who have been leaders on the Augustana College men's track & field team all season long put the finishing touches on the 2001 season by earning NCAA Division III All-American honors. Senior David Dempsey (Sterling Newman HS, Dixon, IL) and junior Anthony Bonucci (Princeton HS, Princeton, IL) earned their All-American certificates at the NCAA Division III National Track & Field Championship, which was held at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois on May 24-26.

 

Dempsey, the Augustana school record holder in the shot put, placed sixth at the national meet with a toss of 53' 7 3/4". Jim Nelson of Wisconsin-LaCrosse won the event with a heave of 57' 2 1/4". Dempsey qualified for the finals with a toss of 53' 2 1/4" in the preliminary round. He had the seventh best toss heading into the finals so he moved up one place. It was the third All-American certificate during his stellar career, adding to the two he earned during his junior year when he placed in both the indoor and outdoor national meets.

 

Bonucci cleared 15' 1" in the pole vault to place eighth, which was far off his seasonal best of 16' 0" set just one week earlier at the Midwest Championships. He was also an All-American during the indoor season.

 

Bonucci and Dempsey were voted as the co-winners of the Most Valuable Field athletes, it was

announced by veteran head coach Paul Olsen at the conclusion of the season. Sophomore

sprinter Brad Blake (Kewanee Wethersfield HS, Kewanee, IL) was selected as the Most Valuable Track athlete.

 

Distance runner Randy Bill (Bureau Valley HS, Buda, IL) and middle distance competitor Mike Bartlett (Highlands Ranch HS, Littleton, CO) shared the Most Valuable Freshman award. The Most Improved Athlete honor was shared by sophomore decathlete Steve Schulz (Galva HS, Galva, IL) and junior sprinter Luke Putzler (Kaneland HS, Sugar Grove, IL). The Most Inspirational Performer award went to senior sprinter/jumper Brian Miller (United Township HS, East Moline, IL).

 

Captains for 2002 will be Bonucci, Craig Lawrence (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, IL), Rudy Kovachevich (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, IL) and Joel Wietfeldt (Auburn HS, Auburn, IL).

 

The Vikings finished the 2001 season ranked 11th in the final NCAA Division III Power Rankings with 197.56 points. Wisconsin-LaCrosse was ranked number one with 234.09 points.

 

When the final results were tallied at the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin men's track & field championship on Saturday, May 5 at West River Park in Chicago, Illinois, it produced two significant facts. The Augustana Vikings were not among the top two teams and did not have either an individual or a relay champion. Two long streaks were thus broken.

 

The last time Augustana did not place either first or second in the team race was in 1963. This time around Olsen's Vikings were third with 130 points as North Central won with 218 and Carthage was second with 137. One would have to go back even further, to 1958, to find the last time an Augustana athlete or relay team did not win an event in the conference meet.

 

To put those two long streaks that were just snapped in perspective, consider this. Olsen has been the head men's track & field coach at Augustana since 1969 and he just finished his 33rd year in that capacity. He was still a student/athlete at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa the last time the Vikings were not in the top two in the team standings. He was in high school in Onamia, Minnesota when the last league meet was held that did not include a winner wearing the Blue & Gold.

 

Blake had a tremendous weekend, finishing second in both the 100 and 200. He was second in the 100 with a time of :10.93 as John McMillian of Elmhurst won with a time of :10.73 and in the 200 Blake was clocked in :22.34 as McMillian ran :22.08. Eliot Mosby (Rich South HS, Matteson, IL) placed fifth in the 100 in :11.03 and was fourth in the 200 in :22.70. Nick Peck (Knoxville HS, Knoxville, IL) finished seventh in the 400 with a time of :50.75.

 

Bartlett ran 1:56.68 to finish sixth in the 800 and in the 1500 the Vikings grabbed a pair of spots. Steve Wahls (Pontiac HS, Chenoa, IL) finished fourth in 4:00.75 with Lawrence placing sixth in 4:03.11. Kovachevich was third in the 5000 with a 15:38.41 clocking.

 

Wietfeldt took second in the 400 hurdles with a time of :54.33 and John Knudson (Joliet Central HS, Joliet, IL) was fifth in the 3000 steeplechase in 10:01.77.

 

The 400 relay team of Sean Tyson (Mount Carmel HS, Sauk Village, IL), Blake, Peck and Mosby was second in :42.31 and the 1600 relay of Peck, Wietfeldt, Bartlett and Brandon Vahl (Waukegan HS, Lindenhurst, IL) placed fifth in 3:21.94.

 

Dempsey was second in the shot put with a toss of 15.78 meters with Tyler Wright (Oregon HS, Oregon, IL) grabbing sixth at 14.15 and David Gonzalez (Maine West HS, Des Plaines, IL) taking seventh with a mark of 14.08. Bonucci cleared 4.73 meters to take second in the pole vault with Lucas Brainerd (Dixon HS, Dixon, IL) finishing eighth at 4.28. In the long jump Brad Haverback (Cambridge HS, Cambridge, IL) was seventh with a leap of 6.57 meters and Adam Talbot (Kewanee HS, Kewanee, IL) was eighth at 6.50. Ken Larson (Providence Catholic HS, New Lenox, IL) took sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 12.94 meters. This discus had three Vikings place as Gonzalez was fifth at 42.96, Dempsey sixth with a toss of 42.02 and Casey Myers (Pontiac HS, Pontiac, IL) taking eighth at 41.56 meters. Wright threw the javelin 51.40 meters to finish second and Todd Baldwin (Aledo HS, Aledo, IL) was fifth at 49.46. Steve Schulz (Galva HS, Galva, IL) made a nice comeback on the second day to finish fourth in the decathlon with 5,199 points.

 

Besides finishing third in the conference and 11th in the nation in the power rankings, Augustana won the Viking Olympics on April 12 with 234.5 points and the Midwest Championships on May 18 with 190 points. The Vikings placed second in the Early Spring Opener on March 24 with 199.5 points and were third at the Meet of Champions on April 21 with 155.5 points.

 

2001 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN CHAMPIONSHIP

May 4-5 *** West River Park *** Chicago, Illinois *** (Hosted by North Park College)

 

TEAM SCORES: 1. North Central 218; 2. Carthage 137; 3. AUGUSTANA 130; 4. Elmhurst 100; 5. Wheaton 88; 6. Millikin 44; 7. Illinois Wesleyan 32; 8. North Park 29.

 

INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS

100 - John McMillian, Elmhurst :10.73; 200 - John McMillian, Elmhurst :22.08; 400 - Rickey Hildreth, North Central :48.69; 800 - Eric Pennington, Carthage 1:54.79; 1500 - Eric Pennington, Carthage 3:54.74; 3000 St - Jason Malmassari, Elmhurst 9:49.11; 5000 - Jim Akita, Elmhurst 15:18.02; 10,000 - Greg Targosz, North Central 31:05.20; 110 HH - Ryan Rogers, Wheaton :14.87; 400 IH - Matt Hosey, Millikin :53.82; 400 R - Carthage :41.82; 1600 R - Carthage 3:16.20; Shot - Justin Rapp, North Central 16.58 meters; Pole Vault - Ryan Kane, North Central 4.73 meters; Javelin - Robert Assise, Millikin 52.74 meters; Long Jump - Giles Travis, North Park 6.89 meters; High Jump - John Hartmann, Elmhurst 2.06 meters; Discus - Adam Moody, North Central 47.86 meters; Triple Jump - David Manly, Illinois Wesleyan 13.90 meters; Decathlon - Eric Gamma, Elmhurst 5,913 points