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December 1, 2002

2009 Season - 2002 MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY REVIEW

INJURIES AND ILLNESS SET THE TONE FOR VIKINGS IN 2002; RANDY BILL NAMED MVP

A year that started with such promise and high expectation turned into one of survival as the 2002 Augustana Vikings men’s cross country team battled illness and injury at every turn. When they came back from the annual end-of-the-summer camp in Onamia, Minnesota, both the team and veteran head coach Paul Olsen were highly optimistic.

There was a collection of youth and experience and the team proved early on that they were ready to go. Although there were no team scores at the Augustana Open on September 6 at Credit Island in Davenport, Iowa, the Vikings were impressive with six finishers in the first 10 spots. Randy Bill (Bureau Valley HS, Buda, IL) won the four mile race in 20:24 and Ben Schutman (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, IA) was second in 20:38. Olsen did not know it at the time but that would be the only time all year that Schutman and Bill would finish the same race.

Bill was to be plagued by a stomach ailment that prevented him from finishing two races and Schutman was diagnosed with mononucleosis after the third meet. Augustana placed a solid third in the 15 team Luther Invitational with Schutman taking sixth. Two weeks later, at the 23 team Brissman-Lundeen Invitational, Schutman was tremendous with a fifth place finish. His heroics led the Vikings to a third place finish in a tight race with Chicago (86), Wisconsin-Platteville (91), Augustana (97) and Grinnell (104). Bill’s stomach problems kept him from finishing at Luther and the Brissman-Lundeen meet.

Unfortunately, the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational would be the last meet of the year for Schutman. The next time the Vikings competed it was without Schutman and the occasion was the Pre-National Meet in Northfield, Minnesota on October 12. Bill proved his mettle, finishing sixth in the 20 team field that had over 300 finishers. The Vikings struggled without Schutman, however, placing 10th in the Pre-National Meet and placing 12th the next week in the Wisconsin-LaCrosse Invitational.

The UW-LaCrosse Invitational on October 19 featured a field loaded with talent, including Big 10 powers Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Gophers and the Badgers finished one-two in the team race and dominated things individually. Bill placed 23rd in a fine time of 25:39.

At the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin championship, the Vikings were second with 76 points, snapping a four year streak of third place finishes that dated back to 1998. Sophomore Nick Johnson (Lincoln Way HS, New Lenox, IL) was the top finisher in the CCIW in 12th place with a time of 26:15. Steve Wahls (Pontiac HS, Chenoa, IL) took 13th in 26:22 and Bill was 14th in 26:24.

The season concluded with an 11th place finish at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional in Peoria, Illinois on November 16.

Bill was named as the team’s Most Valuable Runners and Dan Erb (Winnebago HS, Winnebago, IL) was picked as the Most Improved Runner. The Lincoln Smith Most Inspirational award was shared by Will Dwyer (Rich East HS, Park Forest, IL), Jeff Paul (North Scott HS, LeClaire, IA) and Drew Vaughn (Jacksonville HS, Jacksonville, IL). Adam Houghton (Havana HS, Havana, IL) was the Most Valuable Freshman.

Bill, Ryan Chapman (Eureka HS, Congerville, IL) and Chris Coon (Sterling HS, Sterling, IL) were tabbed as the team captains for 2003.

College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Cross Country Championship

November 2, 2002 * Naperville, Illinois * DuPage River Park

Team Scores

1.

25

North Central

(3-4-5-6-7 8-9)

2.

76

Augustana

(12-13-14-17-20 21-22)

3.

91

Elmhurst

(10-11-19-25-26 27-35)

4.

92

Carthage

(1-16-23-24-28 29-30)

5.

131

Wheaton

(15-18-31-33-34 37-41)

6.

149

Illinois Wesleyan

(2-32-36-39-40 44-47)

7.

220

Millikin

(38-42-45-46-49 52-54)

8.

245

North Park

(43-48-50-51-53 55-56)

Individual Results:

1.

Hamilton Beal

Carthage

25:18.2

2.

Tim Hachmeister

Illinois Wesleyan

25:22.4

3.

Tim Nelson

North Central

25:23.1

4.

Pat Rizzo

North Central

25:29.4

5.

Andy Enright

North Central

25:31.3

6.

Greg Targosz

North Central

25:32.4

7.

Marcin Toporkiewicz

North Central

25:32.7

8.

Kevin Licht

North Central

25:40.8

9.

Reggie Jonaitis

North Central

25:56.4

10.

Christopher Pelz

North Central

26:02.0

       

AUGUSTANA FINISHERS

   

13.

Nick Johnson

Augustana

26:15.4

14.

Steve Wahls

Augustana

26:22.4

15.

Randy Bill

Augustana

26:24.9

19.

Jason Williams

Augustana

26:36.9

22.

Jeff Paul

Augustana

26:47.3

23.

Andy Mead

Augustana

26:50.1

24.

Chris Coon

Augustana

26:51.3

26.

Adam Houghton

Augustana

26:58.1

33.

Ryan Chapman

Augustana

27:24.5

39.

Brandon Vahl

Augustana

27:42.9

2002 AUGUSTANA MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY SUPERLATIVES

Most Valuable Performer – Randy Bill

Most Improved Runner – Dan Erb

Lincoln Smith Most Inspirational – Will Dwyer, Jeff Paul, Drew Vaughn

Most Valuable Freshman – Adam Houghton

2002 Captains – Will Dwyer, Jeff Paul, Steve Wahl

2003 Captains-Elect – Randy Bill, Ryan Chapman, Chris Coon

Augustana Open Champion 09/06 – Randy Bill with time of 21:10 over four miles

Luther Invitational Top Ten 09/14– Ben Schutman 6th in 20:43

Brissman/Lundeen Invitational Top Ten 09/27 – Ben Schutman 5th in 25:18

Pre-National Meet Top Ten 10/12 – Randy Bill 6th in 26:22