December 1, 2005
2009 Season - 2005 WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY REVIEW
What a turnaround – Melissa Engel goes from non-letterwinner to MVP in just one year
In one of the most remarkable transformations possible, sophomore Melissa Engel (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) went from not earning a letter as a freshman to being one of the top runners for the 2005 Augustana Vikings women’s cross country team. Engel joined the team midway through her freshman campaign in 2004 and ran in just two meets. Coming into the 2005 season head coach Fred Whiteside was hoping she could be a factor for his team. She ended up being much more than that as her teammates voted her as the Most Valuable Performer upon the completion of the year.
Engel was the top Augustana finisher in five of the team’s nine meets this past fall. She started off the year by winning the Augustana Open on September 2 and she never looked back. She placed third in the Ashford Invitational on October 1 in Clinton, Iowa with a time of 20:09 and was 11th in the Spartan Invitational on September 9 in Aurora, Illinois. She was also the top finisher in the Brissman/Lundeen Invitational and the Dan Huston Invitational during the course of the season.
Whiteside’s Vikings won the Prairie Fire Invitational on October 15th behind a second place individual performance by junior Jenna McAdam (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.). Augustana also won the Ashford Invitational on October 1 with Engel’s third place finish leading the way. The Vikings were also third in the Spartan Classic on September 9 to round out their top finishes of the year.
In the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin championship, which was held at Credit Island Golf Course on October 29, Augustana finished fifth with 138 points. Wheaton won the league title with 41 points while North Central took second with 55 and Illinois Wesleyan was third with 89. Carthage finished just ahead of the Vikings with 115. North Park (159), Elmhurst (168) and Millikin (203) rounded out the field. McAdam led the Blue & Gold with a 22nd place finish in a time of 23:12.7 over the 6,000 meter course. Marisa Mele of Elmhurst won the event with a time of 21:37.5, winning by 15 seconds over runner-up Melinda Sprague of Illinois Wesleyan. Jessica Chalmers (Fremd HS, Hoffman Estates, Ill.) took 29th in 23:41.5 and Engel was 30th in 23:41.6.
Two weeks after the CCIW meet, Augustana ended its season with a 16th place finish in the 39 team NCAA Division III Midwest Regional, which was held at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Illinois on November 13. In that meet Chalmers was the top Viking finisher with a 72nd place in a time of 23:25.
Not only did Engel take home MVP honors but she also shared the Most Improved Runner award with McAdam, who was the top finisher in two meets in 2005. Seniors Tracey Bastiaans (Wheaton Warrenville South HS, Wheaton, Ill.) and Marie Reimers (Cary Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) shared the Viking Award for spirit and enthusiasm. Shannon Gilbert (Sterling Newman HS, Sterling, Ill.) was the winner of the Most Valuable Freshman honor.
Reimers, senior Angie Morgenthal (Wheeling HS, Wheeling, Ill.) and junior Stephanie McHone (Crystal Lake South HS, Crystal Lake, Ill.) were honored as team captains for 2005.
2005 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN CHAMPIONSHIP
October 29, 2005 *** Credit Island Park *** Davenport, Iowa
INDIVIDUAL TOP TEN AND AUGUSTANA FINISHERS
Jenna McAdam (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.)
Jessica Chalmers (Fremd HS, Hoffman Estates, Ill.)
Melissa Engel (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.)
Liz Driscoll (Lyons Township HS, LaGrange, Ill.)
Laura Meyer (Hononegah HS, Roscoe, Ill.)
Tracey Bastiaans (Wheaton Warrenville South HS, Wheaton, Ill.)
Marie Reimers (Cary Grove HS, Cary, Ill.)
2005 AUGUSTANA WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY SUPERLATIVES
MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER – Melissa Engel
MOST IMPROVED RUNNER – Melissa Engel & Jenna McAdam
VIKING AWARD – Tracey Bastiaans & Marie Reimers
MOST VALUABLE FRESHMAN – Shannon Gilbert
CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE – Melissa Engel…Maribeth Hoff…Stephanie McHone…Laura Meyer…Marie Reimers…Nikki Rohner.
INDIVIDUAL TOP TEN FINISHES
ASHFORD INVITATIONAL (10/01/05) – 3rd – Melissa Engel (20:09.1)…5th – Jenna McAdam (20:29.9)…6th – Jessica Chalmers (20:57.6)…7th – Shannon Gilbert (21:12.5)…8th – Laura Meyer (21:15.8)…10th – Tracey Bastiaans (21:22.3).