Kirby, Kehoe Tally Individual Titles on Final Day of HL Outdoors
May 6, 2012
Ariel Kirby captured the 800-meter individual title, and senior Sam Kehoecollected medalist honors in the 5,000-meter run, highlighting the Flames' performance during the final day of the Horizon League Outdoor Track & Field Championships Sunday. The UIC men's team finished fourth in the field, while the women took sixth.
"We had a great third day; I was pleased with the team's finish," said head coach Jim Knoedel. "I was frustrated that we didn't get the opportunity to run the 4 x 400, as rain canceled it. It would have definitely had an impact on the team's finish. Nonetheless, we had some great finishes highlighted by Ariel Kirby's Horizon League Record in the 800-meter. She led from start-to-finish and demonstrated what an amazing athlete she is.
"Sam Kehoe has worked so hard over his four years and its wonderful to see it paid off with a Horizon League victory in his last collegiate race. After having run the 10K on Friday night I didn't know if he could come back strong, but he proved me wrong with an amazing effort."
Kirby crossed the finishing line in a Horizon League record 2:09.32, out-pacing the remainder of the field by more than three seconds - it was the second-straight week that Kirby broke the 2:10 plateau in the 800. Meanwhile, Kehoe finished the 5,000-meter race in 14:37.41, ahead of 30 other competitors.
The men's team also posted three second-place individual finishes on Sunday. Justin Higginbotham took second in the triple jump with a leap of 14.51 meters, freshman Michael Stupka was the runner-up in the 400-meter dash (48.56 seconds) and senior Matt Zaluckyjfinished second in the 800-meter run, crossing the finishing line in 1:51.20.
Notably, freshman Matt Marzahl and Josh Stanner both finished fifth in the respective high jump and 200-meter dash. On the women's side, Jaime Johnsontook third in the 1,500-meter run, setting a school record in the event (4:36.41).
"In as many days, Jaime Johnson turned in her second third-place finish and her second school record," Knoedel said. "I would have been happy if she got sixth, but she came up with an amazing effort to break the 2009 mark."
For the Championship, the Flames recorded four individual titles, two each for both the men's and women's team. Stupka won the 400-meter dash on Saturday, while senior Kellie Schuhset the Horizon League record in the pole vault to collect medalist honors.
The "Last Chance Meet" will be held in Naperville next Friday (May 11), before the NCAA Championships get underway in Austin, Texas on May 24.