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    Jan. 12, 2012

    CHICAGO- -The UIC men's and women's indoor track & field teams will lift the lid on the 2012 season Friday, when the Flames travel to Romeoville, Ill., to take part in the Dick Pond Open, hosted by Lewis University.

    Friday's meet kicks off a six-week indoor season for both teams, capped off with the Horizon League Indoor Track & Field Championships the final weekend of February (Feb. 25-26). The Flames' competitive outdoor season will begin in late March.

    Live scoring for Friday's meet can be found RIGHT HERE.

    The women's team, which finished sixth in the Horizon League in both the indoor and outdoor campaigns last season, returns several standout performers. Field specialist Kellie Schuh, who captured a combined six first-place finishes in the pole vault and triple jump in 2011, returns for her senior season. Schuh will look to defend her individual pole vault championship at last year's Horizon League Indoor Championships.

    Kellie's twin sister, Aimee Schuh, who saw action in the long jump, shot put, high jump, long jump and 55-and 60-meter hurdles last season, also highlights the returnees. She recorded four first-place finishes during the 2011 indoor season, and took second in the pole vault at last year's Horizon League Outdoor Championship.

    Senior jumper Constance Sciacero returns after finishing fourth in the high jump at the Horizon League Indoor Championships last season. She also posted first-place finishes in the event at the North Central Invitational and University of Chicago Duals. Stephanie Laidlaw, a veteran pole vaulter, returns for her senior season, as does thrower Alexandria Warner, who carded a combined six top-five finishes in the shot put and weight throw during the 2011 indoor season.

    Senior sprinter/jumper Andrea Crumpreturns after recording three top-10 finishes in the 60-meter dash, long jump and triple jump at the 2011 Horizon League Indoor Championships. She finished third in the long jump, and fourth in the triple jump.

    Other notable returners for the women's team include senior Maggie Banasik (distance), junior Jaime Johnson (distance), junior Grace Millhorn (distance), sophomore Colleen Brennan (distance), sophomore Katie Wallace (jumps), sophomore Mariya Denisenko (sprints/jumps), sophomore Jennifer Johnson (jumps), sophomore Marie Carlson (middle distance) and sophomore Alex Christus(sprints/jumps).

    On the men's side, Justen Garth will look to continue his success at the Dick Pond Open, after claiming the individual title in the 55-meter dash last year. Senior sprinter Anthony Hollingsworthtallied a combined eight top-five finishes in the 55-meter, 60-meter and 200-meter dashes during the indoor campaign last season, including the individual title in the 60-meter dash at the North Central Invitational, and a first-place tally in the high jump at the University of Chicago Duals.

    Senior sprinter Josh Stanner, a native of Champaign, Ill., also returns as a top sprinter. He finished first in the 200-meter at the UWM Panther Tune-Up last season. Also highlighting the returnees as a sprinter and jumper is sophomore Matt Kubik, who finished in the top-10 of the respective 55-meter, 60-meter and 200-meter dashes, along with the pole vault, on ten occasions during the 2011 indoor season. Ryan Blackmon, who finished in the top-10 of each of the events he competed in, returns for his sophomore campaign.

    Distance runner Thomas Kohs, a sophomore from Orland Park, will return to bolster the Flames' depth in the 800-meter, 1-Mile Run, and 3,000/5,000 meter treks. He finished fourth in the 5,000 meter at the University of Chicago Duals last season during indoor action. Senior Brian Denk, who tallied a combined six top-five finishes during the indoor and outdoor season last year, returns as one of the top distance runners. He took fourth in both the 3,000 and 5,000-meter races at the 2011 Horizon League Indoor Championships.

    Senior Tyler Hinckley, a middle distance specialist, will also bolster the Flames' strength in the long races. He claimed first-place honors in the 800-meter run at the UWM Panther Tune-Up during the indoor season last year. Senior Sam Kehoe returns as 3,000 and 5,000 meter specialist, as does sophomore Arash Darbandi and senior Roger Pinon. The Karkalis twins, Photos and Angelos, return for their sophomore campaigns after posting a combined seven top-five finishes during their debut indoor campaigns last season. Also providing depth will be seniors John Glass and Matt Zaluckyj.

    In the field events, notable returnees include sophomore jumper Nick Torres, senior specialist Nate Kamm, senior jumper Brandon Gale, junior thrower Mitchell George and junior jumper Justin Higginbotham.