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March 18, 2011

2011 Season - Vikings look for great things in outdoor season

James Wood and Alex Rindone were both valuable members of the Vikings' conference champion 400 meter relay team.

One year ago the Augustana Vikings scored a stirring come-from-behind victory in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin meet and also finished the 2011 season as the third ranked dual meet team in the nation according to the NCAA Division III power ranking. A talented and deep team, flush with last year’s success, will be available for veteran head coach Paul Olsen as he begins his 43rd year at the Vikings’ helm.

“We really achieved quite a bit last year, culminating with our victory at the conference meet,” said Olsen who led his team to the 16th CCIW title in school history last spring. “Based on what we did in the indoor season, we might be even better this year. We really don’t have any holes in our lineup.”

Last year the Vikings won the Early Spring Opener, the Viking Olympics and the Meet of Champions in addition to winning the CCIW championship. During the recently concluded indoor season Augustana placed second in the CCIW meet and wound up ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III power rankings.

Two All-Americans return to bolster the Augustana lineup. Senior triple jumper Patrick Zeunik (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Bloomington, Ill.) is a three time All-American and junior discus thrower Phil Christensen (Kaneland HS, Maple Park, Ill.) is a two time All-American.

Leadership for the 2011 team will come from team captains Matt Bowman (Geneva HS, Elburn, Ill.), Brendan Bradley (Mundelein HS, Mundelein, Ill.), Eric Chalus (Rochelle HS, Rochelle, Ill.), Patrick Hoefle (Lena-Winslow HS, Lena, Ill.), Alex Stake (Williamsville HS, Sherman, Ill.), Greg Weigand (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS, Wheaton, Ill.) James Wood (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) and Zeunik.


SPRINTS – Sophomore Alex Rindone (Marmion Academy, Geneva, Ill.) won the 100 and the 200 at the CCIW meet last spring and added the 55 meter title to his resume during the indoor season. He was also a member of the 800 meter relay team that set a new Augustana school record with a time of 1:27.72. He met the qualifying standard for the NCAA Division III national meet in the 100 and was the co-winner of the Most Valuable Freshman track athlete with fellow sophomore Greg Patton (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.). Patton will handle the 400 and be a mainstay on the relays. He was a national meet qualifier in the 400 last year. Patton and Rindone were members of the 400 relay team which won the CCIW title and qualified for the national meet. Wood joined them on that unit. Senior Matt Somers (Naperville Central HS, Naperville, Ill.) has been a regular on the 1600 relay during his career and sophomore Daniel Doubet (Galesburg HS, Galesburg, Ill.) is coming off a solid freshman season. Depth in the sprints will come from freshmen Jesse Alexander (Cedar Falls HS, Cedar Falls, Iowa), Jay Graffanga (Geneva HS, LaFox, Ill.), Jared Spivey (Annawan HS, Annawan, Ill.), Matt Dickey (Benet Academy, Downers Grove, Ill.), Steve Zahrobsky (Downers Grove South HS, Woodridge, Ill.) and sophomore Floyd Mays (Mooseheart HS, Justice, Ill.).

HURDLES – Junior Greg Davis (Carlinville HS, Carlinville, Ill.) won both the 110 high hurdles and the 400 intermediate hurdles in the CCIW as a sophomore and added the 55 high hurdles title during the indoor season. He was on the NCAA Division III national qualifying 1600 relay team along with Somers and Patton and he hit the national qualifying standard in both events. He was the co-winner of the Most Valuable Track athlete last spring. Bradley has been a consistent hurdler throughout his career and junior Marty King (Oswego HS, Oswego, Ill.) has been a multiple conference placewinner in his first two seasons. Sophomore Patrick Callan (Libertyville HS, Libertyville, Ill.) also was a placewinner in the CCIW meet a year ago.

MIDDLE DISTANCE – Seniors Weigand and Jason Langslet (Mundelein HS, Mundelein, Ill.) lead the way in the 800 along with sophomore Joe Zahn (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.). The freshman trio of Edgar Valle (Kaneland HS, Elburn, Ill.), Chris Madison (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) and Luke Chvatal (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.)  will be heard from at some time during the outdoor season. In the 1500 senior Brad Keating (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.), sophomores Dennis O’Flaherty (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) and Justin Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.) along with freshmen Andrew Allabastro (Lyons Township HS, LaGrange, Ill.), Kyle Meyer (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) and Cody Sharko (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) will form a relatively young but talented group.

DISTANCE – Bowman earned NCAA Division III All-American honors in the fall during the cross country season and heads up a solid group of distance runners. Sophomore Jonathan Smith (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) earned all-region recognition in cross country and sophomores Brian Pollastrini (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) and Nathan Smith (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.) are both coming off solid cross country seasons. Freshmen Isaac Trostle (Willowbrook HS, Lombard, Ill.) and sophomores Kyle McNicholas (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) and Tommie Harris (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) will be major contributors here. Juniors Thomas Christian (Port Angeles HS, Port Angeles, Wash.), Billy TenBusch (Prairie Ridge HS, Cary, Ill.) and Billy Wisser (Hersey HS, Mount Prospect, Ill.) form a formidable trio in the steeplechase.

FIELD EVENTS – Christensen earned All-American honors in the discus as a freshman and sophomore and last year won the discus in the CCIW meet. He set a school record in the weight throw during the indoor season and is also the school record holder in the discus. Junior Brian Benning (Winnebago HS, Winnebago, Ill.) was a national meet qualifier in the weight throw and senior Patrick Hoefle (Lena-Winslow HS, Lena, Ill.)  hit the qualifying mark in the discus last spring. Junior Adam Myers (Dixon HS, Dixon, Ill.) has made great progress and will be counted on heavily. Senior Alex Mikos (Fenton HS, Wood Dale, Ill.) will handle the javelin event.

Zeunik owns the school record in the triple jump and has been an All-American in the event three times during his career, including the recent indoor season when he placed second in the national meet. He won the triple jump in the 2011 CCIW indoor championship. Junior Mike Tovar (Mooseheart HS, Chicago, Ill.), sophomore Chad Collins (Thornridge HS, Dolton, Ill.) and freshman Trevor Raupp (Warren Township HS, Wadsworth, Ill.) will be used in both the long and triple jumps. Freshman Nick Sinon (Kaneland HS, Elburn, Ill.) was an NCAA qualifier in the high jump during the indoor season. Stake and Collins will also compete in the high jump. Chalus, junior Andrew Nice (Christian Life HS, Caledonia, Ill.), sophomore Colton VanKirk (Rochelle HS, Rochelle, Ill.), Mikos and freshman Erik Hansen (Geneva HS, Geneva, Ill.) will head up the pole vault crew.

Stake won the CCIW decathlon last spring and took the pentathlon in the indoor season as well, hitting NCAA qualifying in both. Senior Don Anciaux (Iowa City HS, Iowa City, Iowa), junior Jeff Deets (Polo HS, Polo, Ill.), sophomore Ethan Gale (Oregon HS, Oregon, Ill.) and freshman Josh Eisenberg (Richmond-Burton HS, Spring Grove, Ill.) will help form a deep corps of decathletes.