Track & Field Heads to Ypsilanti for Horizon League Championships

Ariel Butzine won 800-meter and set a HL record last season. She will race the 400-meter this weekend.
Ariel Butzine won 800-meter and set a HL record last season. She will race the 400-meter this weekend.

May 2, 2013

CHICAGO- The UIC men's and women's track & field teams will look to continue their recent success this weekend, when the Flames make the trip to Ypsilanti, Mich., to compete in the 2013 Horizon League Outdoor Championships. The meet will be held at Rynearson Stadium, the home to Eastern Michigan University football.

Events are set to get underway on Friday afternoon with the Decathlon and Heptathlon. The 10,000 meter run will also be held on Friday night.

On Saturday morning, the Decathlon and Heptathlon will wrap up, and the throwing events are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. CT (1:30 p.m. ET). Prelims for the main running events, along with the respective hurdle events, will get underway at about 3:00 p.m. local time. Sunday's schedule will kick off with the 4x100 relay at 11:00 a.m. ET, and wrap up with the 4x400 relay at approximately 2:00 p.m. local time. The finals for the main running events will be sandwiched in between.

"On the men's side, we've been very strong in the sprints this spring," said head coach Jim Knoedel. "We've scored a lot of points both with our depth and with some very good times. We've also had some success in the triple jump, where we're ranked second, third and fourth in the conference. We're hoping to score a lot of points in our sprints and jumps this weekend."

"For the women, our strength has been in the middle distance events," Knoedel said. "Ariel (Butzine) and Rebecca (Zaiter) will both be in contention for the title in the 400 and 800. I also expect us to be factors in the 1,500-meter run, both on the men's and women's side. We'll have a lot of student-athletes in the fast heat, so there will be some opportunities to score points there."

Last season, UIC's men's team finished fourth in the field, while the women took sixth. Ariel Butzine captured the individual title in the women's 800-meter run, while graduated senior Sam Kehoe finished first in the 5,000 meter run. Notably, Justin Higginbotham finished second in the triple jump, as did Jaime Johnsonin the 1,500-meter run, when she set a school record in 4:36.41.

The Flames' men's track & field team collected their first team title of the outdoor season last Friday, when they racked up 103 points to pull away from the 14-team field. Between the men's and women's teams, UIC collected six individual titles and a total of five second-place finishes. Since the outset of the outdoor season, UIC has secured more than 40 top-10 finishes, including 21 top-five tallies.

Live coverage of the festivities will be available via the HORIZON LEAGUE NETWORK.