Under the direction of Tracy Hellman, Augustana’s cross country and track & field programs have competed at the top level in NCAA Division II.
Hellman was appointed Augustana’s head cross country coach for both men and women in 2000. He was handed the reins of the men’s and women’s track & field programs in 2004. During his tenure, Hellman’s coaching achievements have earned local, regional, and national acclaim. In all, he has received 26 coach of the year citations.
2017 was the start of something special for Hellman’s cross country program. The year saw the women’s team make it back to Nationals and the men’s team get back into the top-10, both with young teams. Hellman also tutored the 33rd women’s cross country All-American in Augustana history when Mackenzie Kelly finished in 25th at the NCAA Championships in Evansville, Ind.
The men’s team went on to capture their ninth straight NSIC title and their sixth consecutive Central Region championship and finish in eighth at Nationals, even after graduating it four top runners from 2016. Hellman had eight All-NSIC recipients, including NSIC Newcomer of the Year, Alec Kray, and six All-Region honorees. Hellman earned his ninth straight NSIC Male Coach of the Year accolade and his sixth straight Central Region Male Coach of the Year honor.
The women’s team returned to Nationals for the 11th time in 12 season and finished in 14th. The Viking women automatically qualified for the National meet after taking third at the Central Regional and also took third at the NSIC Championships. Hellman led Emily Tromp to being named NSIC Newcomer of the Year and had four All-NSIC selections and three All-Region performers.
In the classroom, Hellman’s Vikings excelled with nine Academic All-NSIC recipients (five women, four men).
In 2016, Hellman led the men's cross country to its eighth consecutive NSIC title and its fifth straight Central Region championship. Glen Ellingson was a repeat champion in the NSIC and had four runners earn All-Central Region honors. Hellman also had six runners earn All-NSIC honors. Hellman was named NSIC and Central Region Coach of the Year.
Hellman guided the men's team to a 12th-place finish nationally and Nathan Hauge earned All-American honors.
The women's team took fifth at the NSIC meet and eighth in the Central Region Championship. Hellman led Mackenzie Kelly to All-NSIC honors and Kelly, Annie Kruse and Alana Sesow earned All-Central Region accolades.
Academically, Hellman had six student-athletes earn USTFCCCA All-Academic accolades and had 10 student athletes earn Academic All-NSIC honors.
The 2015 season was a success for both the men’s and women’s teams. The men’s team won their seventh consecutive NSIC Crown behind junior Glen Ellingson who took home individual title. The women finished third at the NSIC Championship.
On the men’s side Hellman guided Glen Ellingson, Keegan Carda and Harald Karbo to First Team All-NSIC honors and Nick Larsen and Logan Burns to second team honors. On the women’s side he led Leah Seivert and Mackenzie Kelly to First Team All-NSIC honors and Annie Kruse to second team honors.
Both teams found similar success at the Regional with the men capturing their fourth straight regional title while the women finished third. It was the seventh straight season that Hellman has led both the men and women to the NCAA Championships.
At the national level Hellman guided the men to a seventh place finish, the seventh consecutive year finishing in the top-10, while the women finished 13th overall. Ellingson and Keegan Carda each earned All-America honors for the men and Leah Seivert earned All-America honors on the women’s side.
At the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship Festival in Louisville, Ky. Hellman once again saw both his men’s and women’s team place in the top five nationally.
The men’s team finished in the top five for the third consecutive year with a meet points total of 136 while the women finished in fifth place with a points total of 138 points.
The Viking men were lead by junior Harold Karbo, who finished sixth overall with a time 30:40.05 and senior Adam Braun who placed 21st, with a time of 31:11.8. Under Hellmans watch the Vikings earned a program best four All-Americans: Karbo, Braun, Nathan Hauge (placed 32nd) and Glen Ellingson (placed 34th).
The Women’s team placed fifth overall for the programs fifth consecutive top five finish and the future looks bright under Hellman after being led by two freshman. Leah Seivert finished 10th overall with a time of 21:33 while Annie Kruse placed 36th with a time 22:02.9. Seivert and Kruse both earned All-American honors.
Hellman once again was recognized as the Central Region’s top coach winning the award for a third consecutive year after guiding his program to its third straight Central Region Title and having 12 runners earn All-Central Region honors.
In 2014, Augustana’s cross country teams returned to the hallowed ground of Spokane, Wash. and turned in two top-five finishes, including the highest men’s team and individual finishes in program history.
Paul Yak’s senior campaign was capped off by a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, leading the men’s team to a third-place team finish – both finishes were the highest ever in men’s program history and the fifth-straight top-10 national finish. Tom Karbo (11th) and Harald Karbo (19th) received All-American honors for their finishes at the national meet.
Kristin Brondbo (10th) and Runa Falch (24th) finished their storied careers under Hellman, collecting their fourth All-American honors each as they led the women to fifth place, their third-straight top-five finish.
Helmman nabbed his second-straight USTFCCCA Central Region coach of the year award after leading them to a near-perfect region title and collected his fifth-straight NSIC coach of the year title with a resounding victory that featured 10 athletes earning All-NSIC honors. Paul Yak was selected as USTFCCCA Central Region and NSIC athlete of the year for winning both region and conference individual titles. Glen Ellingson was named NSIC newcomer of the year as he finished 13th at the NSIC Championships.
Hellman received the South Dakota Sportswriters Male Coach of the Year Award for his accomplishments, leading the Vikings to their highest finish ever. Ten men received All-NSIC honors by finishing in the top 20 of the conference meet and seven more collected All-Region honors.
The women’s hopes for seven straight NSIC championships were dashed when they finished second, but four women were still honored as All-NSIC recipients and two more collected All-Region accolades two weeks later.
In 2011, for the first time in the program’s existence, Augustana won the NCAA Division II women’s national championship. Hellman was chosen women’s coach of the year by the USTFCCCA. It was the second national team crown in the history of Augustana athletics. The South Dakota Sportswriters Association tabbed Augustana the College Women’s Team of the Year.
The men won the NSIC championship for the fourth consecutive year in 2012. Hellman’s team was ranked as high as fourth in the nation and claimed the Central Region crown. It was the second regional title for the men’s program, the first coming in 1991. Seven Vikings were chosen all-conference and six received All-Central Region honors. Beniak was chosen Central Region Men’s Athlete of the Year for 2012. The men finished sixth in national championship competition in 2011 and 2010. Two of Hellman’s student-athletes have been named NSIC Athlete of the Year – Tom Karbo in 2010, and Paul Yak in 2011 and 2012.
Augustana’s women’s runners have received 18 All-America citations under Hellman. Falch and Brondbo are three-time recipients and Blakeslee a two-time winner. Six members of Hellman’s men’s teams have also earned All-America recognition.
Hellman is a four-time recipient of the NSIC women’s cross country coach of the year – 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. He was chosen the North Central Conference’s women’s coach of the year for 2007. He was designated the 2012 USTFCCCA Central Region women’s coach of the year in 2012 and was selected the College Female Team coach of the year by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association in 2010.
On the men’s side, he is a five-time winner of the NSIC coach of the year – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He has also won the past two USTFCCCA Central Region coach of the year awards.
In 2016-17, Hellman had three student-athletes qualify for five events at the NCAA Championships and came away with four All-American awards.
Hellman had Olivia Montez Brown earn two first team All-American honors in the pentathlon (4th) and the long jump (8th). Glen Ellingson earned two second team All-American honors in the 3,000-meters (10th) and the 5,000-meters (10th). Josh Barrows just missed All-American honors finishing 13th in the 800-meters.
At the NSIC Championships, Hellman led the men's team to a fourth-place finish and the women's team to a fifth-place finish. Glen Ellingson broke meet records in the 3,000-meters and the 5,000-meters and Josh Barrows broke the meet record in the 800-meters.
Ellingson was named NSIC Track Athlete of the Year after winning both the 3,000-meters and the 5,000-meters. Hellman tutored five student-athletes to seven All-NSIC awards and three to five All-Central Region awards. Academically, 25 student-athletes earned Academic All-NSIC honors.
During the 2016-17 indoor season, Hellman saw four school records fall under his watch.
Hellman led both indoor track and field teams to second place finishes at the NSIC Indoor Championships in 2015-16. Hellman helped Keegan Carda set a new NSIC Championship record in the 5000 meter run with a time of 14:48.85.
At the Indoor National Championships Hellman helped lead Ryan Heuer earn All-American honors in the 60-meter hurdles after coming in seventh. Freshman Olivia Montez Brown earned All-America honors in the Pentathlon after finishing ninth with 3773 points.
Hellman guided 12 student-athletes to All-NSIC honors in 2015. Charissa Etrheim earned All-NSIC honors in both the 600-meter run and as a member of the 4x400 meter team, Ida Eltervaag earned honors in the 800-meter run, Emma Anderson earned honors in both the 1000-meter run and the DMR, Annika Rotvold earned honors in the 1000-meter run, Leah Seivert earned honors in the 5000-meters, Valerie Moos as a member of the 4x400 meter team, Irene Alamarcha as a member of the 4x400 meter team, Carina Hofmeister as a member of the 4x400 meter team, Brooke DeVos in the DMR, Acery Selberg in the DMR and Olivia Montez Brown in both the Pentathlon and Long jump.
Hellman had six female athletes earn All-American honors during the Indoor season, which included a school record time in the 4x4 of 3:38.98. Paul Yak earned All-American honors for the men in the 5,000 meter run, setting a school record with a time of 14:26.21 and placing ninth in the event.
Hellman helped guide junior Bree Woelber to the NSIC Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the year award after she broke the school record in the Heptathlon with 3982 points, ranking third in the country.
Five men and eight women made the All-Region list under Hellman, with six athletes being honored in multiple events.
In 2013-15 Hellman had nine All-Americans during the indoor season, Hellman nearly equaled his best from three years prior. Hellman sent 11 athletes to compete in five events where they showed what Augustana has come to be known for in recent years.
Both men’s and women’s distance medley relay teams earned All-American honors, finishing sixth in their respective divisions. Kristin Brondbo brought home the lone individual title, taking fourth in the women’s 3,000-meter run. Members of the men’s All-American DMR squad, Henrik Hansson and Aduo Omot narrowly missed the finals as they also competed in the 800-meter run and one day after running the anchor on the women’s DMR, Kyle Blakeslee finished 11th in the women’s 3k. Kelsey Kaufmann earned a spot in the high jump field, coming just short of earning her first All-American accolade.
At the 2014 NSIC Championships, the men and women both improved on their 2013 team finishes, taking second and third, respectively. Hellman oversaw seven conference championships, including a four-event sweep of the men’s and women’s DMRs and men’s and women’s 3,000-meter runs – Blakeslee took the women’s title and John Klecker won his first conference championship.
Under his direction, Hellman guided Brondbo to the top qualifying time in Division II in the women’s 3k and groomed the men’s DMR to an automatic qualifying time in the DMR. The Vikings posted 23 different provisional or automatic qualifying times during the indoor season and 12 athletes combined for 21 total USTFCCCA All-Central Region honors.
In 2012, the men’s distance medley team of Travis Beniak, Khor Kong, Henrik Hansson, and Tom Karbo raced to a national championship in 9 minutes,49.06 seconds. The time is a school and all-time South Dakota Collegiate men’s record. It was Augustana’s first ever men’s relay national title.
Both the men’s and women’s teams secured runner-up finishes at the 2012 NSIC championships. The Vikings claimed eight conference individual titles - six for the men and two for the women. The Vikings’ Aduo Omot set a conference record in the 600 with a winning time of 1:20.61. The 150 points registered by the men were the most ever by a Viking team.
Hellman was named NSIC coach of the year in 2010 after the women won their first-ever conference track championship. That same year he was selected Central Region coach of the year. He was voted North Central Conference coach of the year in 2006 following the Vikings’ third-place finish at the NCC indoor track and field championships.
Omot handed Hellman his first national individual indoor champion by winning the 800 in 2011. Paul Yak was named the conference’s newcomer of the year in 2011.
The 2017 outdoor track and field season ended with two All-Americans being crowned in Bradenton, Fla. for Hellman and his Vikings. Hellman guided Olivia Montez Brown to a fourth place finish in the heptathlon and Kelsey Kaufmann to a sixth place finish in the high jump. Overall, Hellman sent four student-athletes to Nationals, including two first timers in Valerie Moos and Josh Barrows.
At the NSIC Outdoor Championships Hellman led the men’s and women’s teams to fourth place finishes and garnered 12 All-NSIC accolades. Hellman also tutored four NSIC champions in Olivia Montez Brown (heptathlon), Kelsey Kaufmann (high jump), Josh Barrows (400-meter hurdles) and Nathan Schroeder (3,000-meter steeplechase).
Over the course of the outdoor season, Hellman saw three school records fall under his tutelage. Olivia Montez Brown (long jump), Carina Hofmeister (200-meters) and Valerie Moos (400-meter hurdles) all topped school records on the season.
Hellman’s student-athletes also excelled in the classroom during the outdoor season. Hellman had 22 student-athletes earn Academic All-NSIC accolades and Josh Barrows and Zach Tuschen were named CoSIDA Academic All-District selections.
At the NSIC Outdoor championships in 2016, Hellman guided the men’s program to a second place finish and the women to a third place finish. After leading the men’s team to a second place finish Hellman earned the NSIC Outdoor Coach of the Year award. He led 11 individuals and two relay teams to All-NSIC honors on the men’s side and seven individual and two relay teams earn All-NSIC honors on the women’s side.
At the NSIC Outdoor Championships Bree Woelber won the High Point championship which is the award given to the athlete that earns the most points at the championships. Kayla Mescher earned her fourth consecutive conference championship in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.73. Harald Karbo won the 3000-meter Steeplechase while the men’s 4x400 meter team also took home first. Keegan Carda won the men’s 5000-meter run with a time of 14:59.73. Bree Woelber earned Field Athlete of the Year and Montez Brown earned Newcomer of the Year.
Hellman sent four student-athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Florida. Kayla Mescher earned All-America honors in the 400-meter hurdles while also breaking her own school record. Bree Woelber earned All-America honors in the high jump after jumping five-feet, eight inches. Olivia Montez Brown earned All-America honors in the heptathlon after a sixth place finish. Montez Brown scored 5,254 points, a school record.
In 2015 Hellman had two athletes earn All-American honors, Sr. Paul Yak and Fr. Leah Seivert, during the outdoor season after the NCAA Championships. Nine total athletes made it to the championship event.
Along with her All-American honor, Sievert was named the Central Region Track Athlete of Year and the NSIC Newcomer of the Year.
Hellman guided both the men and women’s team to second place finishes in the NSIC Outdoor Championships. During the meet both Sievert and Braun set new NSIC records while 11 Vikings in total placed inside of the top five.
In 2013-14, the 10 athletes who qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2010, Hellman again groomed double-digit athletes to qualifying times for the 2014 NCAA Championships in Allendale, Mich.
Kyle Blakeslee capped off her stellar career at Augustana, breaking her own school record for a runner-up finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase – her time is the second-fastest ever run at an NCAA Division II championship event. Harald Karbo concluded his breakthrough sophomore campaign with his third All-American finish (3,000m steeplechase) in his second year at Augustana. Aduo Omot then closed his career with his fourth outdoor All-American honor in the 800-meter run
Ten total Vikings earned All-Central Region honors from the USTFCCCA – seven men and three women combined for 13 total top-five region times. Several of those times were set at the NSIC Championships where the men finished as the runner-ups for the second straight year and the women came in a close third.
Six total Vikings won conference titles and four set new conference records in victorious fashion. Under Hellman’s distance tutelage, Kyle Blakeslee broke her own conference record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with the fourth NSIC steeple record of her career. Henrik Hansson out-kicked two fellow Vikings for the 1,500-meter NSIC championship and conference record. Kristin Brondbo won her first outdoor track title with a victory in the women’s 1,500-meter run and was runner-up in the 5k. Placing top three at the conference meet, 22 Vikings earned All-NSIC honors -- the most since the Vikings joined the NSIC in 2008-09.
Hellman chalked up two more Drake Relays titles in 2014, sweeping the men’s and women’s distance medley relay and breaking the Augustana women’s record by over 10 seconds.
Hellman has coached two NSIC outdoor track and field athletes of the year – Falch for the women in 2011 and Tom Karbo for the men in 2012. Falch was also the NSIC championships high point scorer in 2010, while Karbo was the NSIC newcomer of the year for 2010. Hellman was cited as the NSIC women’s outdoor coach of the year for 2011. After a fruitful 2014 campaign, Hellman has now coached six NSIC outdoor record holders.
The 2011 outdoor season ranks as the most productive in Augustana history. The women won the NSIC championship, the first outdoor title in the program’s history and the first outdoor crown for Augustana since 1942. The Vikings won three events at the prestigious Drake Relays, including a school and South Dakota collegiate record for the women’s distance relay. Augustana runners under Hellman’s direction have won eight relay titles at Drake. The Vikings won eight individual titles at the NSIC meet, and landed a dozen student-athletes on the all-conference team.
The Vikings sent seven student-athletes to the 2011 NCAA Championships and two returned with national championships - Falch in the 1,500 and Omot in the 800. In all, six school records were set throughout the campaign.
Hellman’s student-athletes have received a total of 92 All-America citations in track and field/cross country. He has mentored five national champions and his teams have accounted for 50 school records.
Before coming to Augustana, Hellman was an assistant track and cross country coach at Humboldt State, in Arcata Calif. While at Humboldt State, the men’s team won the Pac-West Conference cross country meet title twice and finished 11th place in the 1998 Division II National Cross Country Championships.