Augustana College printing logo

July 31, 2012

2012 Season - Eight Vikings named USTFCCCA All-Academic

Brian Benning was one of eight Vikings to be named to the 2012 United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) "NCAA Division III All-Academic Team". Augustana's eight athletes tied them for fourth most individuals selected from a single school this past year.

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - Eight Augustana men's track & field standouts have been named to the 2012 United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) "NCAA Division III All-Academic Team", it was announced today. Recently graduated seniors Brian Benning (Winnebago HS, Winnebago, Ill.), Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Elburn, Ill.),  and Adam Myers (Dixon HS, Dixon, Ill.), seniors-to-be Greg Patton (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Illinois), Brian Pollastrini (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.), and Justin Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.), and rising sophomores David Devore (Midland HS, Midland, Mich.) and David Voland (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) were among the total of 226 student-athletes representing 84 colleges and universities to make up the elite squad. Augustana's eight athletes tied them for fourth most individuals to be selected from a single school this past year.

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 2011-12 school year.

Benning was a versatile member of the Vikings' throws squad. He competed in the shot put, discus, and hammer throw on a regular basis. At the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin outdoor championship meet on May 4-5, he placed fifth in the shot put and fourth in the hammer throw. At the indoor CCIW championships, he placed second in the weight toss and fifth in the shot put. During the indoor season, Benning set a school record in the weight toss when he uncorked a throw of 60' 3 ¾". This throw was good enough to qualify him for the NCAA Division III indoor national championships but he did not compete. That throw also won him the title of CCIW Field Athlete of the Week for February 21. Benning was a four year letterman and served as a team captain during his senior season. He was also voted the Vikings' co-Most Valuable Field Athlete this past spring. He graduated with a 3.57 grade point average while majoring in teaching Spanish.

After missing his senior season due to injury, Bowman returned for a fifth year and was a fantastic distance runner for the Vikings. At the CCIW outdoor championships this past spring, he completed a very impressive double finishing fourth in the 10,000 meter run and eighth in the 5,000 meter run. He won the Meet of Champions 10,000 earlier in the year with a time of 30:31.22. He was voted by his teammates as co-Most Inspirational this past season.

In addition to his on the track success, Bowman was a standout in the classroom and he was recognized for this with a couple of prestigious honors. First, he was named a second team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America. In addition, he was one of just 29 male athletes across all divisions to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Bowman graduated in the spring with a 3.74 grade point average and a degree in art history.

Myers followed up a breakout junior season with an even better senior campaign. His culminated with an eighth place finish in the hammer throw at the NCAA Division III national meet in May. In addition to earning All-American honors, Myers also broke his own school record with a heave of 194' 1". He placed second in the hammer throw at the CCIW outdoor championships this past spring. Myers, a four time letter winner, was voted by his teammates as the co-Most Valuable Field Athlete for the Vikings this past season. He graduated with a degree in biology and sported a 3.38 grade point average.

Patton's junior season was just as good as his first two. He was a member of the school record setting and national meet runner-up 1600 meter relay. The quartet blazed their way to All-American status is a school record setting time of 3:10.70. He was also a member of the 400 meter relay team that finished fourth at the national meet with time of :41.06. At the CCIW outdoor championships, he was a member of the winning 400 meter relay in addition to competing in the 200 dash and 400 meter dash. A two time letterman and team captain for next season, Patton carries a 3.56 grade point average into his senior year while majoring in accounting, political science, and geology.

Pollastrini was the CCIW champion in the 5000 at the outdoor championships this spring. He won in a time of 15:15.16. At the indoor conference meet, he finished second in the 5000 and eighth in the 3000. He qualified for the NCAA Division III indoor championships in the 5000 but did not compete. A three time letter, Pollastrini was voted as a captain for next season by his teammates. Going into his senior year, he holds a 3.81 grade point average while majoring in Spanish and English.

Smith had a breakout season this year and his teammates noticed as they voted him the Most Improved athlete. He was a national meet competitor in the 1500 meter run in May. During the indoor season, Smith took home the CCIW crown in the mile with a time of 4:13.08. In addition to his on track success, Smith excels in the classroom and CoSIDA recognized this by awarding him third team Academic All-American. Smith, who is triple majoring in biochemistry, pre-medicine, and philosophy and carries a 3.78 grade point average into his senior year, is a three time letterman and will serve as a team captain next season.

Devore ran the leadoff leg of the Vikings' NCAA qualifying 400 relay. The relay placed fourth at the outdoor national meet with a new school record time of :40.88 in the prelims and :41.06 in finals. At the CCCIW outdoor championships, he placed eighth in the 100 meter dash in addition to leading of the winning 400 meter relay team. At the indoor CCIW meet, he placed fifth in the 50 meter dash. Devore, who is a computer science and math major, holds a 3.61 grade point average going into his sophomore year.

Voland had himself a spectacular freshman season in 2012. He participated in the 400 meter hurdles and the 1600 meter relay at the NCAA Division III outdoor championships. He earned All-American honors in both events, placing third in the 400 hurdles and second on the relay team. He was the CCIW champion in both events as well. In addition to his All-American and CCIW championships, Voland wrote his name into the school record book on a couple of occasions. The 1600 meter relay team set the outdoor school record in the event at the national meet. He was also a part of the indoor 800 meter relay team that set a school record with a time of 1:30.04. He was also a part of the 1600 meter relay team that qualified for the NCAA Division III indoor championships but did not compete. Voland, a math and education major with a 3.87 grade point average, was voted Most Valuable Track Freshman by his teammates.

 

- Story written by student assistant Paul Hurd