Empowering Athletes for a Life Without Limits

Located in the heart of Minneapolis, Augsburg University houses a small, but growing, NCAA Division III program. The Auggies are already seeing success, with Mohammed Bati repeating as MIAC Champion in cross country this past fall and shattering the school records in the indoor mile.

Augsburg University multi-record holder Mohammed Bati
Augsburg University multi-record holder Mohammed Bati

Head XC/Assistant Track & Field Coach Nick Larson took the helm in 2021, himself specializing in guiding the distance and cross country athletes. Like many of his athletes, Larson has a unique background—but unlike many distance coaches, he was previously a football and hockey player, and a sprinter. He views this different athletic background as an asset, though. Larson says his time playing other sports helps him bring an action-focused, present mindset, in contrast to the typically rigid, overly planned mentality of a distance runner. He has a wealth of coaching experience dating back to age 19, when he first started helping coach teams at the UW-LaCrosse campus, where he went to school. Larson is joined by Chris Dixon, the head track and field coach, and Ronny Hall Jr., the assistant track coach.

The program is growing, with an emphasis on the middle-distance events, and looking to expand in the sprints and horizontal jumps. Campus does not have an indoor or outdoor track, although a covered turf field provides shelter from the cold for student-athletes during the brisk winter months. Although lacking certain facilities can be a deterrent, Larson prefers to view it as "a challenge that will make you stronger." Athletes learn flexibility and the skillset of building strength in the face of adversity. The group travels to nearby University of Minnesota or Concordia University for track sessions; the University of Minnesota is close enough that distance runners easily traverse the distance on foot.

Head Cross Country and Assistant Track & Field Coach Nick Larson
Head Cross Country and Assistant Track & Field Coach Nick Larson

Larson's goal as a coach is to provide educational opportunities as well as a meaningful experience to student-athletes. Augsburg is a great environment for students from diverse backgrounds to thrive, and the team is no exception. According to Larson, 72 percent of the incoming class came from non-white backgrounds, making Augsburg the most diverse college in the state of Minnesota. The top five men on the cross country team have an East African background. Mo Bahti hails from Ethiopia and works alongside his studies to support his family, all while excelling on the track.

At Augsburg, student-athletes support one another and get excited to be part of an ascending program. All athletes' accomplishments are equally exciting, from Getinat Asfaw's school record in the indoor 800, to a male athlete breaking 5 minutes in the mile for the first time. The women are thriving as well, with Allison Hookom looking to defend her MIAC title in the indoor 400m this year, and setting a new school record in the 600m this indoor season.

Augsburg Track athlete Allison Hookum competing in the indoor 600m
Augsburg University track athlete Allison Hookum competing in the indoor 600m

For student-athletes that value diversity, hard work, and a welcoming team environment, Augsburg is an excellent fit. Coach Larson notes that although Augsburg lacks some of the resources of a high-end Division I program, rising to the occasion molds his athletes into better people equipped for real-world challenges.

The number one goal of the Augsburg program at the moment is to grow its numbers and expand roster sizes for both the men and women. In particular, Coach Larson is excited to work with Streamline Athletes to expand recruiting beyond the Twin Cities metropolitan area to the Midwest as a whole.

Larson and the rest of the coaching staff at Augsburg are already beginning to see more success with recruiting. Kameron Smith, a talented sprinter and long jumper, joins the Auggies this year to bolster their indoor track season.

The Auggies will primarily compete in-state up until the NCAA Division 3 Championship meet, to be held at the beginning of March in Virginia Beach.

The Auggies are a team on the rise and one to watch in 2024!

Augsburg University track and field/cross country recruiting standards

As a rising program looking to develop athletes of all levels - athletic standards for recruitment are generally open and they will consider most student-athletes. With no athletic scholarships available (as they are a DIII program) Augsburg has fantastic academic financial aid packages available, as well as the American Indian Recognition Full Tuition Program starting in fall of 2024.

To find out if you qualify for a scholarship at Augsburg and uncover other schools where you’d be a fit, book your personalized recruitment advisory session with Streamline Athletes today.


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