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August 9, 2011

2011 Season - Five Vikings named to All-Academic team

James Wood is one of five Vikings to be named to the USTFCCCA "All-Academic Team". To qualify, a student athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and have met the NCAA Division III indoor or outdoor qualifying standard in his respective event during the 2010-11 school year.

Five Augustana men's track & field standouts have been named to the 2011 United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) "NCAA Division III All-Academic Team", it was announced today. Recently graduated senior James Wood (St. Charles North, St. Charles, Ill.), senior-to-be Adam Myers (Dixon HS, Dixon, Ill.), juniors-to-be Greg Patton (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Illinois) and Brian Pollastrini (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) and sophomore-to-be Jay Graffagna (Geneva HS, LaFox, Ill.) were among the total of 200 student-athletes representing 72 colleges and universities to make up the elite squad.

The USTFCCCA honors NCAA Division III individuals for their academic and athletic achievements during the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. In order to qualify for the USTFCCCA "All-Academic Team", the student athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and have met the NCAA Division III indoor or outdoor qualifying standard in his respective event during the 2010-11 school year.

Wood was a member of the Vikings' 1600 meter relay team that placed 16th at the NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championships this past spring. He also provisionally qualified in the 400 when he ran the race in :48.48 at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship meet on May 7, but did not participate in the event at the national meet. He was also a member of the 1600 relay team that qualified for the NCAA indoor national meet last winter. Wood was a four year letterman and served as a team captain during his senior season. He graduated with a 3.42 grade point average with majors in business-finance and accounting.

Myers enjoyed a breakout year as a junior season that culminated with an 18th place finish in the hammer throw at the NCAA Division III national meet in May. He qualified for the national meet at the Augustana Twilight meet on May 20 when he uncorked a toss of 185' 5", which was just two inches short of the school record. Myers is a three time letter winner and was voted the most improved athlete this past season. A biology major, he currently sports a 3.33 grade point average.

Patton followed up an outstanding freshman season with an even better sophomore campaign. During the indoor season he ran a leg on the conference champion 1600 meter relay team that hit the qualifying mark for the NCAA Division III indoor national meet. During the outdoor season he handled the anchor leg for the 1600 relay that recorded a season's best time of 3:13.88 at the CCIW Championships on May 7. That time was fast enough to set a new outdoor conference record. Patton also qualified for nationals in the 400 when he was clocked at a time of :48.21 at the Augustana Twilight meet on May 20. He went on to place 11th at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships. A two time letterman, he was named CCIW track athlete of the week for the week ending February 20. As a freshman, he was voted co-Most Valuable Track Freshman. Patton, an accounting and political science major, carries a 3.59 grade point average into his junior year.

Pollastrini was a national meet qualifier in the 10,000 meter run, but he did not participate in the event at the national meet. In his first ever 10,000, he ran a 31:00.04 at the Meet of Champions on April 16. He placed fifth in the 5000 meter run at both the indoor and outdoor CCIW championships. A two time letter, Pollastrini holds a 3.78 grade point average while majoring in Spanish.

Graffagna ran the leadoff leg of the Vikings' NCAA qualifying 400 relay. The relay qualified for the outdoor national meet when they ran a :41.30 at the CCIW Championships on May 7. That time was also fast enough to eclipse the previous conference record in the event. At the CCCIW Championships, he also placed fourth in the 100 meter dash. He was voted the team's Most Valuable Freshman on the Track for this past season. Graffagna, who is undecided on his major, carries a 3.61 grade point average into his sophomore year.

- Story written by student assistant Paul Hurd