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February 14, 2012

2011 Season - Tisza & Smith grab USTFCCCA academic honors

Junior Jonathan Smith (67) and senior Mike Tisza (71) were selected to the All-Academic team in NCAA Division III by the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association for the 2011 season.

A pair of Augustana men's cross country runners, senior Mike Tisza (Hersey HS, Prospect Heights, Ill.) and junior Jonathan Smith (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) were named to the All-Academic Team by the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association, it was announced today. Tisza and Smith were two of just 141 NCAA Division III athletes honored on the elite team.

In order to qualify for the USTFCCAA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 through the most recent grading period and placed in the top 35 at the NCAA Division III Regional Championships.

Both Tisza and Smith were integral parts of an Augustana team that finished the year ranked 25th in NCAA Division III. Tisza, a co-captain, pulled down Most Valuable Runner honors for the Vikings in 2011 when he was the Vikings top runner in four meets.

He was instrumental as Augustana spent most of the season in the top 20 of the NCAA Division III national ranking, according to the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association  (USTFCCCA). The Vikings finished the year ranked 25th in the final poll, despite not being one of the 32 teams competing in the national meet.

Tisza did compete in the national meet, however, making the field as an individual after placing 15th in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional on November 12 at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island. He opened the season with a second place finish at the Luther Invitational on September 10 and was fifth at the Brissman/Lundeen Invitational on September 23 at Saukie. He was also the top Augustana finisher at the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on October 15, taking 35th.

Smith, who will serve as a captain for the 2012 Vikings, was the top Augustana finisher in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin meet when he placed 10th. He was third at the Wartburg Invitational and seventh at the Brissman/Lundeen Invitational. He took 31st in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional to end the year.

Tisza carries a 3.73 grade point average with majors in biology (pre-medicine) and English while Smith has a 3.63 GPA in biology.