Men's Track Captures Eagle Invitational Title; Women Finish Second

Justin Higginbotham now leads the Horizon League in the triple jump.
Justin Higginbotham now leads the Horizon League in the triple jump.

April 15, 2012

Complete Results

LISLE, Ill.- The UIC men's track & field team captured the team championship at Saturday's Benedictine Eagle Invitational, while the women's squad also recorded a strong showing, finishing second in the 21-team field.

The men's team pulled away from its competition, racking up 110.5 team points, and out-pacing second-place Olivet Nazarene (83.5) by 27 points. The women collected 101.5 points, convincingly distancing themselves from third-place Millikin (80).

"I'm very excited about our performances on Saturday," said head coach Jim Knoedel. "Justin Higginbotham posted a Horizon League leading mark in the triple jump, and Matt Zaluckyjmight have run the most exciting race of the meet. Even though he finished second, he broke the school record in the 800-meter - I couldn't be more excited for him breaking 1:50 for the first time.

"We also had great wins from Tess Ehrhardt, Sam Kehoe, Ariel Kirby, Nate Kamm and Constance Sciacero. It was a very solid day for both teams, and we took another step forward."

Freshman Tess Ehrhardt started the meet by capturing the individual title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 11:23.92, nearly 15 seconds ahead of Illinois Tech's Courtney Rouse (11:37.42). Junior Ariel Kirbycontinued on her stellar debut season, recording the meet's best time in the 800-meter run, finishing in 2:12.11, and racking up 10 team points.

Freshman Rebecca Zaiter finished second in the 1,500-meter run, crossing the finishing line in 4:43.28. The 4x400 relay team, comprised of Jaime Johnson, Ehrhardt, Kirby and Zaiter, won for the second-straight week, finishing in 3:55.06. Constance Sciacerowon the high jump, leaping 1.60 meters to collect 10 team points for the Flames.

Notable second-place finishes for the women included Stephanie Laidlawin the pole vault (3.28 meters) and Alex Warner in the hammer throw (46.78 meters).

On the men's side, the foursome of Josh Stanner, Ryan Blackmon, Michael Stupka and Matt Zaluckyj captured the 4x400 relay title, crossing the finishing line in 3:13.40. Meanwhile, Justin Higginbothamleaped a Horizon League-best 15.21 meters in the triple jump, recording a personal record, and claiming the individual title.

Sam Kehoe crossed the line first in the 5,000-meter run (14:53.86), while Nate Kamm leaped 4.70 meters in the high jump to finish first overall. Zaluckyj placed second in the 800-meter run, but broke the outdoor school record, finishing in 1:49.51. The 4x100 relay team (42.55 seconds) comprised of Justen Garth, Stupka, Blackmon and Stanner, also finished in second-place.

Both the men's and women's teams will make the short trip to Lincoln Park next weekend (April 20-21) to participate in the DePaul Invitational.