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May 30, 2008

2009 Season - 2008 MEN'S OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD REVIEW

First CCIW championship since 1984, National Coach of the Year honors for Paul Olsen highlight 2008 outdoor season

Using its excellent depth and the extraordinary talents of Ted McMillan (Erie HS, Cordova, Ill.) the Augustana men’s track & field team marched to the CCIW outdoor championship for the first time since 1984, breaking North Central’s 23-year stranglehold on the title. The Vikings also finished the year ranked first in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association power rankings, earning veteran head coach Paul Olsen National Coach of the Year honors in the process.

The Vikings opened the season by winning the Early Spring Opener on March 20. They easily outdistanced the rest of the eight team field, nearly doubling the point total of second place Central. They were even more impressive the following week, coming out on top of a 16-team field at the Viking Olympics. That meet produced three NCAA qualifying marks as pole vaulter Wes Jackson (Annawan HS, Mineral, Ill) cleared 16 1 1/4”, a height that would stand all year as an Augustana season best. McMillan also qualified in the high jump, clearing 6’ 8” and the decathlon, with a meet record 6,598 points.

After finishing third in a field of ten teams at the Wartburg Select Invitational on April 5, the Vikings traveled to Macomb, Illinois for Western Illinois University’s Lee Calhoun Memorial on April 12. In a 12-team field that included six Division I squads, Augustana finished fourth behind D1’s SIU-Edwardsville, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois.

On April 19, the Vikings hosted the 16th Meet of Champions. With McMillan qualifying for nationals and setting a school record with a :14.55 time in the 110 high hurdles, and Brad Holehan (Joliet Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) and Andy Kubiak (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.) both qualifying in the 3000 meter steeplechase, Augustana cruised to the meet championship for the first time ever. Pole vaulter John Thompson (Hall Township HS, Ladd, Ill.) also became an NCAA qualifier, clearing 15’ 7 1/4”.

The Drake Relays on April 25-26 produced two more NCAA qualifiers, with McMillan figuring prominently in each. He ran a :51.21 in the 400 meter intermediate hurdles, a time just :00.21 off the Olympic qualifying mark and also anchored the 4x400 relay team which ran a 3:13.91, the top time in Division III to that point in the season. Evan Holschbach (Princeton HS, Princeton, Ill.), Kyle Ekberg (Rockford Christian HS, Rockford, Ill.) and Matt Somers (Naperville Central HS, Naperville, Ill.) ran the first three legs.

The Vikings ventured to Chicago on May 2-3 to compete in the CCIW Championships. North Central had won the previous 23 titles dating back to 1984, but this was Augustana’s year as the team rode conference championships by McMillan (110 high hurdles, 400 intermediate hurdles), the 4x400 relay team (Holschbach, Ekberg, Somers and McMillan), Holehan (steeplechase), and Darin Decker (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) (hammer throw) to win the team title with 240.5 points to North Central’s 216.0. The conference championship was Augustana’s 15th, with 11 of them coming under the guidance of coach Olsen.

Decker, Dan Leonard (Fremd HS, Palatine, Ill.) and Steve Sulfridge (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, Ill.) took advantage of late season twilight events to reach NCAA qualifying marks. Decker bettered his previous qualifying throw with a 175’ 3 1/2” heave of the hammer at the University of Chicago’s Penultimate Open. Leonard, running at the Gregory Invitational at Naperville, Illinois, improved his qualifying time in the 5000, running a 14:46.26. Sulfridge, who had yet to qualify, became the third Viking pole vaulter to do so when he cleared 15’ 9 1/4” at the Augustana Twilight meet.

The national meet took place May 22-24 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. McMillan, was back to defend his 2007 national championships in the 400 meter hurdles and high jump. He finished second in the 400 hurdles with a time of :51.45, five-hundredths of a second faster than his winning time the previous year. He also took third in the high jump with a 6’ 9” leap that matched last year’s championship height. Holehan ran a personal best 9:09.22 to take sixth place in the steeplechase and Sulfridge made the most of his last minute qualifying by earning All-America honors with an eighth place 15’ 0” leap in the pole vault. Holschbach, Ekberg, and Somers joined McMillan, Holehan and Sulfridge as All-Americans as the 4x400 relay team took eighth place with a time of 3:15.00. As a team Augustana finished 16th, the seventeenth top 20 outdoor finish during coach Olsen’s tenure.

Augustana also finished the season ranked first in the nation in Division III by the USTFCCCA. In fact, the Vikings dominated the power ratings during the outdoor season, ranking first in each of the final five weekly rankings. The organization also named McMillan its Midwest Region Athlete of the Year and Olsen its Midwest Region and National Coach of the Year.

McMillan was chosen as the team’s MVP of track events as well as a 2009 team captain. Decker was field MVP. Somers and Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Geneva, Ill.) were named Most Valuable Freshmen for track and Eric Chalus (Rochelle HS, Rochelle, Ill.) was Most Valuable Freshman in field events. Kubiak was named Most Improved. Holehan was Most Inspirational. Ekberg, Holschbach, Sulfridge and Tyler Vens (Pleasant Valley HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) will join McMillan as 2009 team captains.

2008 CCIW OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP

May 2-3, 2008 @ West River ParkNorth Park UniversityChicago, Illinois

TEAM SCORES: 1. AUGUSTANA 240.5; 2. North Central 216; 3. Carthage 123.5; 4. Illinois Wesleyan 89; 5. Wheaton 76; 6. Millikin 30; 7. North Park 24; 8. Elmhurst 18.

INDIVIDUAL EVENT WINNERS

100 – Segun Olopo, Illinois Wesleyan :10.67; 200 -- Segun Olopo, Illinois Wesleyan :21.52; 400 – Matt Harden, Illinois Wesleyan :47.70; 800 – Tylor Lewis, Carthage 1:56.11; 1500 – Brian McConnell, Elmhurst 3:55.84; 5000 – Brandon Mull, Wheaton 14:57.52; 10,000 – Kyle Brady, North Central 31:12.00; 110 HH -- Ted McMillan, AUGUSTANA :15.22; 400 IH – Ted McMillan, AUGUSTANA :53.79; 3000 steeplechase – Brad Holehan, AUGUSTANA 9:16.08; 4x100 relay – Illinois Wesleyan :41.57; 4x400 relay – AUGUSTANA 3:16.42; High Jump – Matt Borchardt, North Central 6’ 5 1/2”; Pole Vault – Jake Winder, North Central 17’ 3/4”; Long Jump – Buzzy Brown, Carthage 23’ 4”; Triple Jump – Prentice Wilbourn, Carthage 45’ 10 3/4”; Shot Put – Marc Holt, North Central 52’ 6”; Discus – Marc Holt, North Central 145’ 0”; Hammer Throw – Darin Decker, AUGUSTANA 167’ 3”; Javelin -- Ryan Herlihy, North Central 189’ 7”; Decathlon – Kenton Rauwerdink, Carthage 6,104.

2008 AUGUSTANA SUPERLATIVES

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-AMERICA: 400 IH – Ted McMillan, 2nd place :51.45; High Jump – Ted McMillan, 3rd place 6’ 9”; 3000 steeplechase – Brad Holehan, 6th place 9:09.22; Pole Vault – Steve Sulfridge, 8th place 15’ 0”; 4x400 Relay – Evan Holschbach, Kyle Ekberg, Matt Somer, Ted McMillan, 8th place 13:15.00.

AUGUSTANA SCHOOL RECORDS: 3000 – Dan Bailey, 8:38.37; 110 HH – Ted McMillan :14.55…breaks previous mark of :14.64 by Jesse Heath in 1997; 400 IH – Ted McMillan :51.21…breaks previous mark of :51.50 by Ted McMillan in 2007.

CCIW INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS: 110 HH – Ted McMillan, :15.22; 400 IH – Ted McMillan, :53.79; 3000 steeplechase – Brad Holehan, 9:16.08; 4x400 relay – AUGUSTANA (Evan Holschbach, Kyle Ekberg, Matt Somers, Ted McMillan), 3:16.42; Hammer Throw – Darin Decker, 167’ 3”.

NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL QUALIFIERS

Pole Vault – Wes Jackson, 16’ 1 1/4” on 03/29/08 at Viking Olympics; John Thompson, 15’ 7 1/4” on 04/19/08 at Meet of Champions; Steve Sulfridge, 15’ 9 1/4” on 05/16/08 at Twilight Qualifier. 110 HH – Ted McMillan, :14.55 on 04/19/08 at Meet of Champions. High Jump – Ted McMillan, 6’ 8” on 03/28/08 at Viking Olympics. 400 IH – Ted McMillan, :51.21 on 04/26/08 at Drake Relays. Decathlon – Ted McMillan, 6598 on 03/29/08 at Viking Olympics (Chose not to compete at nationals). 3000 steeplechase – Brad Holehan, 9:11.5 on 04/19/08 at Meet of Champions. 4x400 relay – Evan Holschbach, Kyle Ekberg, Matt Somers, Ted McMillan, 3:13.91 on 04/26/08 at Drake Relays.

(Provisional qualifiers who did not make the final national meet field)

Hammer Throw – Darin Decker, 175’ 3 1/2” on 05/10/08 at Chicago Penultimate. 3000 steeplechase – Andy Kubiak, 9:17.9 on 04/19/08 at Meet of Champions. 5000 – Dan Leonard on 05/15/08 at Gregory Invitational.

AUGUSTANA TEAM AWARDS

MVP (track): Ted McMillan; MVP (field): Darin Decker; Most Valuable Freshman (track): Matt Bowman & Matt Somers; Most Valuable Freshman (field): Eric Chalus; Most Improved: Andy Kubiak; Most Inspirational: Brad Holehan. 2009 Captains: Kyle Ekberg, Evan Holschbach, Ted McMillan, Steve Sulfridge, Tyler Vens.

INDIVIDUAL & RELAY CHAMPIONS IN INVITATIONALS

Augustana Early Spring Opener, 03/20/08, Rock Island, Ill.: Pole Vault – Wes Jackson, 15’ 5”; Discus – Darin Decker, 148’ 5”; 110 HH – Tyler MacDonald, :16.12; 400 – James Woods, :50.83; 800 – Matt Somers, 1:59.89; 4x800 relay – Joe Murphy, Ryan Miller, Joey Waldorf, Taylor Riley, 8:29.70.

Viking Olympics, 03/29/08, Rock Island, Ill.: Pole Vault – Wes Jackson, 16’ 1 1/4”; Decathlon – Ted McMillan, 6598; 100 – Max Petersen, :11.19; 1500 – Brad Holehan, 4:00.65; 3000 steeplechase – Pat Fritsch, 10:39.8; 400 IH – Tyler MacDonald, :56.13; Triple Jump – Nate Maass, 44’ 8 1/4”; Javelin – Jeff Lackaff, 161’ 1”; 4x100 – Max Petersen, Jay Watson, Kyle Ekberg, Evan Holschbach, :42.75; 4x200 – James Wood, Kyle Ekberg, Jay Watson, Evan Holschbach, 1:28.85; 4x400 – Jarrett Kessel, Evan Holschbach, Kyle Ekberg, Jay Watson, 3:24.17; Shuttle hurdle relay – 1:07.56.

Wartburg Select Invitational, 04/05/08, Waverly, Iowa: 4x400 relay – Evan Holschbach, Kyle Ekberg, James Wood, Ted McMillan, 3:16.59; 3000 steeplechase – Brad Holehan 9:28.73.

Lee Calhoun Memorial, 04/12/08, Macomb, Illinois: 400 IH – Ted McMillan, :54.83; 1500 – Brad Holehan, 4:01.31; 4x400 relay – Evan Holschbach, Kyle Ekberg, Matt Somers, Ted McMillan, 3:17.07.

Meet of Champions, 04/19/08, Rock Island, Ill.: High Jump – Ted McMillan, 6’ 3 1/2”; 110 HH – Ted McMillan, :14.55; 400 IH – Ted McMillan, :52.91; 4x400 relay – Evan Holschbach, James Wood, Matt Somers, Ted McMillan, 3:17.14; 5000 – Chris Zook, 15:15.42; 10,000 – Dan Bailey, 31:17.90; 3000 steeplechase – Brad Holehan, 9:11.5; Javelin – Jeff Lackaff, 179’ 5”.

Loras Invitational, 04/26/08, Dubuque, Iowa: Javelin – Jeff Lackaff, 177’ 11”; 1500 – Matt Bowman, 4:04.89.

University of Chicago Penultimate, 05/10/08, Chicago, Ill.: Pole Vault – Steve Sulfridge, 15’ 1 1/2”; Javelin – Jeff Lackaff, 167’ 3 1/2”.

Augustana Twilight, 05/15-16/08, Rock Island, Ill.: 1500 – Brad Holehan, 4:05.48; 400 – Kyle Ekberg, :49.05; 4x400 – 3:16.48; High Jump – Ted McMillan, 6’ 3 1/4”; 3000 steeplechase – Kevin Young, 10:16.4.

AUGUSTANA TEAM FINISHES

USTFCCCA POWER RANKING: 1st in nation

NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL MEET: 16th in nation

CCIW CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1st place, 240.5 points

TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: Early Spring Opener, 03/20/08; Viking Olympics, 03/29/08; Meet of Champions, 04/19/08; CCIW Championships, 05/02-03/08.