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    Gun Goes Off For Cross Country Teams On Saturday At The Sixth Annual UIC Home Opener
     

     
    Senior Joe Marren and the Flames begin their season on Saturday
     
    Senior Joe Marren and the Flames begin their season on Saturday
     
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    Aug. 30, 2002

    Chicago, Ill. - The cross country season for collegiate runners is without a question, brutal.

    The brutality begins for the UIC men's and women's cross country teams this Saturday, as the Flames host the Sixth Annual UIC Home Opener in south suburban Palos Heights.

    Toeing the line alongside the Flames will be Loyola and Chicago State on the men's side and Loyola running in the women's race.

    The women's race begins at 9:30 a.m., with the men competing at 10 a.m.

    "We have a good crew on both the men's and the women's side," said head coach Jim Knoedel. "Our top five for each team are very solid."

    For the UIC men, a trio of seniors will be counted on during Saturday's race and throughout the season. Rich Daubert and Joe Marren, along with fifth-year runner Danny Smith will take the reins for the 2002 campaign.

    Other athletes poised to make a run into the top-five are Mikhail Davidyan, Eric Ilg, Tristan Roche, Whitney Burns and freshman Jose Macias.

    The Flames will have to deal with the talent and depth of Loyola, but should handle Chicago State with ease.

    In the women's race, Knoedel is looking for junior Jenni Goebel and sophomore Lizet Diaz to carry the load. Goebel, a two-time all-Horizon League performer in cross country looks strong as ever and will be near the front of the pack come Saturday.

    That prolific one-two punch will be aided by veteran Jessica Streit, senior Jessica Pancoska and sophomore Sara Jeffers, along with newcomers Melissa Diego, Gina Gagliano and Brenda Zepeta.

    The women will have their hands full with the defending Horizon League champion, Loyola.