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St. Norbert women’s five 800-meters All-Americans or Midwest Conference champions: (left to right) Gaylene Nash ’94, Ashley Graybill ’09, Emily Schudrowitz ’12, Brittany Kozlowski ’17 and Clarissa Jauregui ’17.

800-Meters Program Sets Pace for Nation

The St. Norbert College track and field program has become an unofficial national headquarters for excellence in the 800 meters under the guidance of head coach Don Augustine, since his arrival in De Pere in 2007. 

Green Knights have achieved All-American honors in the event on 10 occasions during Augustine’s tenure, tied for the most by any NCAA Division III school in the nation.

While current assistant coach Colin McKean ’05 was the first St. Norbert runner to achieve success on the big stage with his indoor national championship in 2004, it is the Green Knights women who have enjoyed an unprecedented run of 800-meters success ever since.

Brittany Kozlowski ’17 and Clarissa Jauregui ’17 continued the trend this spring, with Kozlowski capturing the Midwest Conference indoor title and Jauregui the outdoor championship. Kozlowski at one point was ranked second in the country in Division III after posting a sparkling time of 2:09.16 at the prestigious Drake Relays. Unfortunately, an injury prevented her from competing at the outdoor conference and national meets.

“I think part of our success comes from girls seeing other girls’ success,” Augustine says. “The 800 meters is an event you can train runners into being successful for. To have success in a sprint such as the 60 or 100 meters, you have to have some genetics on your side. But the mental toughness that comes with training and logging hard workouts [for the 800] is what’s really been able to give our kids an edge. What our girls are doing on a national level is really special.”

Ashley Graybill ’09 started the stretch of Green Knight women’s All-Americans when she captured the national indoor and outdoor titles in 2009. Emily Schudrowitz ’12 followed by winning the indoor championship in 2010 and the outdoor crown in 2012. Kozlowski placed fifth in the 2015 national outdoor championship and fourth in this year’s national indoor meet. (The top eight American finishers at the national indoor or outdoor championship meets earn All-America designation.)

“Ashley [Graybill] was a really good 400-meter runner, but she didn’t have the top-end speed to be a national champion in that event,” Augustine says. “That’s when we started to look into having her run the 800.”

Interestingly, Graybill never won a Midwest Conference 800 title despite being a two-time national champion. That’s because she was able to earn more team points competing in multiple other events at the conference meets before specializing in the 800 at the national level.

St. Norbert women have dominated the 800 at the Midwest Conference level. Schudrowitz was a four-time indoor and outdoor champion 2009-12, Erin McShea ’13 won both titles in 2013, and Kozlowski repeated the feat in 2015 before splitting the titles with Jauregui this season.

This year at nationals
At nationals this spring, the Green Knights sent five men and three women to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in May, earning All-America honors in two events. Erin Artz ’17 placed seventh in the women’s 10,000 meters, and the men’s 4 x 400 relay team of Jon Gregory ’19, Austin Livingston ’16, Tyler Lewis ’17 and Ryan Grandlic ’17 placed second in a school-record 3:10.63. The national runner-up finish was the highest ever for a St. Norbert relay.

June 27, 2016