Garth, Zaiter Both Collect Horizon League Runner of the Week Honors
April 3, 2013
INDIANPOLIS - Senior sprinter Justen Garth was named the Horizon League Male Runner of the Week, while sophomore Rebecca Zaiter was recognized as the League's Co-Female Runner of the Week, it was announced by officials from the Indianapolis-based Horizon League headquarters Wednesday afternoon.
Garth picked up two-of UIC's five first-place finishes at the St. Joseph's Puma Invitational last Saturday, outpacing 10 other runners in the 200-meter dash (22.73 seconds) and leading the 4x100 meter relay team to a win (42.85 seconds) against three other schools.
"It was exciting to see Justen break 11.00 for the first time and especially so; because this was our first outdoor competition of the season," said head coach Jim Knoedel. "Justen has a phenomenal start, so he really worked on the latter phases of the 100 meters and the times are showing his efforts. Last Saturday, he beat the 2012 Horizon League runner-up in the 100-meter, so he has a chance to make a big impression at this year's meet."
Meanwhile, at the prestigious Raleigh Relays, Zaiter set a school record in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:33.23, taking first-place in a field of 130 runners. Her mark is the third-best in the Horizon League this season.
"Rebecca was injured her senior year in high school, but I could tell she had a lot of potential because of her competitive nature and excellent foot speed," Knoedel said. "As a freshman, she stayed injury-free and we began to see flashes of what she was capable of. So the performances this year haven't been a surprise, because I always knew it was there.
"At the Raleigh Relays, as fast as she ran; I know she could have run faster. She followed for three-fourths of the race, but when she took the lead on the last lap, no one was even close. It tells me that she can continue to improve and will run faster as the season goes on."
Zaiter was also named the Horizon League Indoor Track & Field Runner of the Week on Feb. 19 after a first-place performance in the 1-Mile Race at the EIU Special, the first time she ran the race in her college career. For her efforts at the Raleigh Relays, she was also named the UICFlames.com Student-Athlete of the Week.
Both the men's and women's teams will head to Romeoville, Ill., this weekend (April 5-6) to take part in the Chicagoland Championships.