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August 24, 2012

Vikings ranked 18th by USTFCCCA

Behind five top-seven returnees from a year ago, including senior Justin Smith, the Augustana men's cross country team has been ranked 18th in the nation in the USTFCCCA's preseason Division III poll.

NEW ORLEANS, La.-Returning five of its top seven runners from a year ago, coach Paul Olsen's Augustana men's cross country team has been ranked 18th in the nation in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Division III pre-season poll. The Vikings are also ranked fifth in the always tough Midwest Region.

Olsen welcomes back seniors Brian Pollastrini (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.), Jonathan Smith (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.), Justin Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.) and Nathan Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.), as well as sophomore Nick Gornick (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) from last year's crew. Jonathan Smith took 10th place at the CCIW Championship last fall. Pollastrini was a second-place finisher at the Wartburg Invitational and Justin Smith was tops among this year's returnees with a 31st-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Midwest Regional.

Defending national champion North Central of the CCIW is a unanimous number one pick, both nationally and in the Midwest Region. Washington University is ranked second in the region and fourth in the nation, followed by another CCIW squad, Wheaton, which is third in the Midwest and fifth nationally. Wisconsin-LaCrosse tied for ninth in the national poll and ranks fourth in the Midwest.

Rank

School (1st place votes)

Pts

Region

Conference

1

North Central (Ill.) (8)

280

Midwest

CCIW

2

Haverford

268

Mideast

Centennial

3

SUNY Geneseo

247

Atlantic

SUNYAC

4

Washington (Mo.)

246

Midwest

UAA

5

Wheaton (Ill.)

244

Midwest

CCIW

6

Tufts

240

New England

NESCAC

7

Calvin

222

Great Lakes

MIAA

8

Bates

218

New England

NESCAC

9

Middlebury

203

New England

NESCAC

9

UW-La Crosse

203

Midwest

WIAC

11

SUNY Cortland

200

Atlantic

SUNYAC

12

NYU

180

Atlantic

UAA

13

Williams

167

New England

NESCAC

14

St. Olaf

160

Central

MIAC

15

Allegheny

159

Mideast

NCAC

16

Loras

131

Central

IIAC

17

Wabash

126

Great Lakes

NCAC

18

Augustana (Ill.)

123

Midwest

CCIW

19

RPI

115

Atlantic

Liberty League

20

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

113

West

SCIAC

21

Bowdoin

111

New England

NESCAC

22

Luther

90

Central

IIAC

23

Johns Hopkins

89

Mideast

Centennial

24

UW-Stevens Point

81

Midwest

WIAC

25

Rochester

80

Atlantic

UAA