Preseason XC Rankings and Yak for Augustana

Augustana College, of South Dakota, men and women’s cross country teams were the top choices in the 2012 NSIC (Northern Sun) Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Vikings will boast both NSIC Preseason Athletes of the Year in Paul Yak, Storm Lake and Runa Falch.  Both Yak and Falch are defending NSIC Cross Country Champions. Augustana men have won the last three NSIC Cross Country Championships, while the women are four-time defending champions, including winning the 2011 NCAA DII National Championship.

NSIC Preseason Athlete of the Year Paul Yak, Storm Lake, is coming off a season where he was an All-America honoree after finishing 11th at the NCAA Championship (10K, 31:33.50). Prior to that he placed sixth at the NCAA DII Central Region Championship (8K, 33:06.00). He won the NSIC Championship (8K, 24:28.76) on October 22, earning himself  All-NSIC first-team honors and picking up NSIC Athlete of the Year laurels.

Morningside is ranked 14th nationally in the NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Pre-Season Poll. The Mustangs return seven of their top nine runners from last year, including Garret Ehlers, OABCIG, Monte Larsen, Tr-Center Neola, and Derik Simenson, SC North, who all earned All-Great Plains Athletic Conference honors and were NAIA National qualifiers last year.  The Mustangs are ranked in the NAIA Pre-Season Poll for the first time in history and the No. 14 national ranking is the highest in their history.

Morningside will open the season at the Augustana College Twilight Meet on Friday, Aug. 31.

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