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Augie Women 2nd; Men 4th at NCAA Championships



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JOPLIN, Mo. – Augustana women's cross country came just three points shy of repeating as national champions, finishing second at the NCAA Championships at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo. on Saturday afternoon. The Viking men will bring home its highest finish in school history with a fourth-place performance in the men's 10,000-meter race.

Augustana's women netted 104 team points, just three points shy of national champion Grand Valley State (101), and five points ahead of third-place finisher Adams State (Colo.) (109).

Augustana had six runners earn All-America honors, including Runa Falch, Kristin Brondbo, Leah Black, Kyle Blakeslee, Travis Beniak and Adam Braun.  

Augustana nearly placed three women's runners in the top 10 with Falch finishing eighth overall with a time of 20:39 in the women's 6,000-meter run. Brondbo was the 10th-place finisher at 20:53 just ahead of teammate Leah Black, who brings home an 11th-place performance finishing the course in 20:56. Blakeslee registered a 40th-place finish crossing the tape in 21:32.

Annie Pfeifle finished 57th individually with a time of 21:40 followed by Molly Kokesh who finished 181st in 23:04 and Gabi Swoboda who placed 218th in 23:59.

On the men's side, Adams State ran away with the title earning 34 team points finishing ahead of Colorado School of Mines (102), Alaska Anchorage (148) and Augustana (182).

Beniak hung with the top pack the entire race en route to his 10th-place finish with a time of 29:32, helping Augustana to its highest national finish in school history. Augustana has now finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships four straight seasons.

Braun crossed the finish-line in 24th-place with a finishing time of 30:09. Harald Karbo delivered a 58th-place finish for the Vikings with a time of 30:49. Nathan Hauge finished with a time of 30:53, which was good for a 64th-place result.

Shane McCallum ran the 10k course in 30:55 to finish 66th while Paul Yak crossed the finish line in 68th position with a time of 30:57. TJ Gleason was the 91st-place finisher with a time of 31:21.
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