Men Take Second at NIU Invite; Women Place Fourth
DEKALB, Ill. - The UIC men's and women's cross country team concluded action at the Northern Illinois Invitational on Friday evening with the men's squad claiming second and the women earning fourth. The men tallied three top-10 finishers being out-paced only by Big East-member Marquette who captured the team title.
"I was pleased that our guys beat city rival DePaul but our score should have been much closer to Marquette's," said head coach Jim Knoedel. “We're doing a better job of packing runners and if we continue to close the gap between #1 and #7 there is no doubt we will have a very successful season."
Junior Angelos Karkalis piloted the men's team with a fourth-place finish in the 6K race, crossing the line at 19:26.33. He was followed by teammates Pat Nyork (19:29.85) and Arash Darbandi (19:38.17) who placed seventh and tenth, respectively. Photis Karkalis wasn't far behind in the 11th with a time of 19:38.88 along with Billy Clink, the reigning Horizon League Runner of the Week, in 12th with a result of 19:40.45.
"Angelos Karkalis had a second great race and I am very impressed with the strides he has made from last fall,” said Knoedel. "He's put in a lot of miles and the results are turning up in fast times.”
The women were guided by freshman Emma Preston who placed 17th overall and posted a 18:35.84 in the 5K race. She was trailed by teammate Tess Ehrhardt who grabbed 33rd in a time of 19:13.26. Freshman Stephanie Sanders was the other UIC Flame to finish within the top 40 with a result of 19:36.14.
“Our women ran short-handed but I was still very pleased with the team effort," said Knoedel. "Grace Millhorn filled in well for some sick runners and turned in her best collegiate cross country race. I couldn't be happier for her. We also had an impressive performance from frosh Emma Preston as she came out on top for the Flames. Emma has shown flashes of her talent in practice and let everyone know that she is one of the best frosh in the Horizon League."
The Flames return to action next Friday (Sept. 14) at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships hosted by Illinois State in Normal, Ill with a scheduled start time of 4:15 p.m. CT.