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Vikings Ranked 17th in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings

CLEVELAND – Behind its best men’s cross country and football seasons in school history and strong finishes in other fall sports, Augustana jumped into the top 20 of the Division II Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced today.

Augustana scored 141 points during the fall sports season. The Vikings are now ranked 17th in the nation and are the only school within the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) to be ranked in the top 25.

Last Saturday, Augustana men's cross country team finished sixth at the NCAA Championship, the highest in school history. The Viking women finished seventh.

Senior cross country standout Matt Braithwaite, who finished 20th at last Saturday’s meet, was recently named the recipient of the Elite 88 award for men's cross country, the NCAA announced Saturday. The Elite 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships. Braithwaite, a biology major, has a 4.0 GPA and is the first student-athlete in Augustana history to earn the award.

2010 will go down as the most successful season in school history for the Viking football team. Augustana recorded a school-record 11 wins (three more than the previous record) and made their first playoff appearance since 1989. The Vikings also hosted and won its first playoff game by defeating No. 6 Grand Valley State on Nov. 27 at Kirkeby-Over Stadium.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup is a program that honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program and celebrates those programs achieving success in many sports, both men’s and women’s. Beginning in 1993-94 for Division I by NACDA and USA Today, it was expanded in 1995-96 to include Division II, III and the NAIA. Each institution is awarded points in a predetermined number of sports for men and women.