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May 2, 2013

Vikings ranked seventh in NCAA Division III power rankings

Junior Jay Graffagna was a member of the record setting 800 meter relay squad at the Drake Relays. He will look to continue the Vikings impressive stretch as Augustana heads into the CCIW Championship on May 3-4 in Decatur, Illinois.

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - As the Augustana men's track & field team heads into the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin outdoor championships, the Vikings find themselves ranked seventh in the most recent NCAA Division III dual meet power ranking.  The poll, which is conducted by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, quantifies the depth of each team.  The team's total score is the sum of all points earned in each event. Two individual athletes are scored per event, as well as one relay team.  The points are based on the best marks of an event in the current season, with the faster times and farther distances worth more.

The Vikings split their squad last week as they sent individuals to the prestigious Drake Relays as well as the Loras Open.  At the Drake Relays, Augustana posted a pair of school records.  The 1600 meter relay consisting of sophomore Antonio Owens (Naperville North HS, Bolingbrook, Ill.), senior Greg Patton (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.), senior Alex Rindone (Marmion Academy, Geneva, Ill.), and sophomore David Voland (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) broke its previously owned school record by running a time of 3:09.48.  That time was good enough for third.    

In the 800 meter relay, sophomore David Devore (Midland HS, Midland, Mich.), sophomore Nowlan Savage (Arapahoe HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo.), junior Jay Graffagna (Geneva HS, LaFox, Ill.), and sophomore Keith Cline (Byron HS, Byron, Ill.) teamed up to enter Augustana's record books with a time of 1:27.16.  The relay finished fourth in the college division.  

The Vikings have been impressive all year as they placed first in their first three meets, the Viking Olympics on March 23, the Augustan Open on March 28, and the Wartburg Select on April 6.  They then traveled to Western Illinois, a meet which consisted of several universities at the Division I level, to finish fourth amongst 20 teams.  Augustana then hosted the Meet of Champions on April 20 and finished first in a field that included ten teams.   

The rankings show the strength of the Midwest Region as it carries six teams in the top 20 and three teams in the top ten.  Wisconsin-Oshkosh currently holds the number one slot with a total of 218.48 points.  Coming in at second is Bates College with 214.16 points while Tufts University sits third with 207.68 points.  North Central (207.59), Wabash (207.40), and SUNY Cortland (205.52) round out the remaining schools that lie ahead of the Vikings.   

Augustana will get their chance against North Central this weekend as they are currently preparing for the CCIW championships which will be held on May 3-4 in Decatur, Illinois.  

2013 NCAA DIVISION III OUTDOOR DUAL MEET POWER RANKINGS

Sponsored by the USTFCCA ***  As of 04/30/13  

RANK SCHOOL REGION POINTS
1. Wisconsin-Oshkosh Midwest 218.48
2. Bates New England 214.16
3. Tufts New England 207.68
4. North Central Midwest 207.59
5. Wabash Great Lakes 207.40
6. SUNY Cortland Atlantic 205.52
7. Augustana Midwest 203.26
8. Claremont Mudd-Scripps West 196.53
9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology New England 194.41
10. Rensselaer Polytechnic Atlantic 190.58