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November 13, 2010

2010 Season - Bowman qualifies for NCAA national meet

Senior Matt Bowman qualified for the NCAA Division III national cross country meet with a 14th place finish at the Midwest Regional on Saturday, November 13 at Saukie Golf Course. Bowman will compete on Saturday, November 20 in the national meet in Waverly, Iowa.

Augustana senior Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Elburn, Ill.) turned in a superb performance on Saturday, November 13 at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional and as a result, was rewarded with a trip the national meet. Bowman finished 14th with a time of 24:35 over the 8000 meter layout at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Illinois. He was the second individual qualifier in the race, which featured nine teams ranked in the top 32 of the latest national poll according to the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Association.

The top five teams qualified for the NCAA Division III national meet, which will be held on Saturday, November 20 at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. North Central won the regional with 37 points while Wisconsin-Platteville placed second with 86. Wisconsin-Stevens Point was third with 114, Washington was fourth with 122 and Wisconsin-Oshkosh grabbed the fifth spot with 173. Wisconsin-Eau Claire took sixth with 187, Wisconsin-Whitewater was seventh with 220 with Augustana placing eighth with 227. Wisconsin-LaCrosse (230) and Chicago (244) rounded out the top 10 in the 39 team field.

This field was loaded with ranked teams, including four in the top 10 in the nation. North Central was the top ranked team in the country while Wisconsin-Platteville (10th), Wisconsin-Stevens Point (8th) and Washington (7th) were all ranked in the top 10. Wisconsin-Oshkosh (14th), Wisconsin-Eau Claire (32nd), Augustana (20th) and Wisconsin-LaCrosse (23rd) all contributed to make this race a “mini-national” meet.

Competing in blustery conditions with high winds and temperatures hovering near the 40 degree mark, the entire race was astonishingly fast. Michael Spain of North Central won individual honors with a time of 24:06.4, topping Jason Garvens of Wisconsin-Plattevile, who ran 24:10.7. It took a time of 24:30 to place in the top 12 and 36 runners broke the 25 minute mark.

Bowman, who has been the Vikings’ top runner most of the year, certainly earned his way to the national meet. He was with the leaders early and finished 14th in 24:35. The top 12 finishers were all members of teams that qualified for the national meet. Peter Johnston of Wisconsin-Stout placed 13th in a time of 24:31.3 and he was the first individual qualifier to cross the line with Bowman being the next. Showing the strength of the teams in the Midwest, the 23rd finisher in the race (Andy Ashenden of Concordia) was the seventh, and final, individual runner to qualify for the national meet.

Junior Billy Tenbusch (Prairie Ridge HS, Cary, Ill.) was the second finisher for Augustana. He placed 48th in 25:14.7. Junior Mike Tisza (Hersey HS, Prospect Heights, Ill.) was 51st in 25:17.2 and sophomore Jonathan Smith (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) took 54th in 25:21.4. Sophomore Brian Pollastrini (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) was 60th in 25:25.8 while sophomore Nathan Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.) finished 80th in 25:40.6. Junior Billy Wisser (Hersey HS, Mt. Prospect, Ill.) was 100th in 26:00.7.