Track & Field Set to Participate in Eagle Invitational

Head coach Jim Knoedel
Head coach Jim Knoedel

April 12, 2012

CHICAGO - The UIC men's and women's track & field teams will continue their spring seasons Saturday, when the Flames travel to Lisle, Ill., to take part in the Eagle Invitational, hosted by Benedictine.

A full slate of running and field events are on tap, beginning at 10 a.m. CST. The men's heat for each event will be held first, and be immediately followed by the women's heat. The hammer throw will get the field events started, followed by the discus throw, long jump and pole vault.

The running events will also begin at 10 a.m., with the men's and women's 5,000-meter runs. The remainder of the running events will resume at 11:30 a.m., starting with the 400-meter relay. The rest of the events will be held in the following order: 3,000-meter steeplechase, 1,500-meter run, 110/100-meter hurdles, 400-meter run, 100-meter dash, 800-meter run, 400-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash and the 4x400-meter relay.

"Coming off good performances at the Chicagoland Championships, I expect our athletes to continue to step up and produce great performances," said head coach Jim Knoedel. "There are 20 schools attending, so there will be plenty of competition in every event.

"Matt Zaluckyj and Ariel Kirby are continuing to chase the school records in the 800-meter, and are ready to accomplish their goals. Justin Higginbotham is looking to surpass the 15-meter mark in the Triple Jump while Kellie Schuh, currently ranked 38th in the NCAA West Region, is looking to leap over 40 feet in the women's competition."

Last weekend, the Flames competed in the Chicagoland Championships - the women's team finished third overall, while the men's squad took fourth. The women recorded four first-place finishes, including a meet and stadium record in the 4x800 relay. Junior transfer Ariel Kirby also captured the individual title in the 400-meter (56.46 seconds), while Sharon Mwale finished first in the high jump, leaping 1.57 meters for her first career title. Kellie Schuh won her second-straight Chicagoland Championship in the pole vault (3.65 meters), while also finishing second in the triple jump (12.05 meters).



On the men's side, the 4x800 meter relay team, made up by freshmen Cody Lee and Gunnar Sterne, along with sophomores Angelos and Photis Karkalis took home medalist honors, crossing the finishing line in 7:51.36.

Additionally, both Brandon Gale (13.62 meters) and Matt Marzahl tallied runner-up finishes in the respective triple jump and decathlon. For his efforts, Marzahl was named the Horizon League Male Field Athlete of the Week.

The Flames own three-of the Horizon League's top-four times in the men's 400-meter run this season, led by Matt Zaluckyj's performance at the Chicagoland Championships (48.71 seconds), which represents the second-best time in the League this season. Zaluckyj also boasts the League's top-time in the 800-meter (1:52.55 at the Raleigh Relays). Justin Higginbotham's leap of 14.45 meters in the triple jump (Mike Poelhein Invitational) is the second-best mark in the conference.

On the women's side, Kirby owns the Horizon League's best time in both the 400 (56.46) and 800-meter runs (2:11.73), while Kellie Schuh's leap of 3.75 meters in the pole vault at the Raleigh Relays represents the League's best jump in the event this season.

Last year's Eagle Invitational did not include team scores due to the event being weather-shortened, but the Flames' men's squad won the team title in 2010.