`Forty Flames to Follow' in 2013-14: Tess Ehrhardt|
June 17, 2013
CHICAGO – UIC distance runner Tess Ehrhardt kicks off this week’s coverage of the ‘Forty Flames to Follow’ for 2013-14, a summer series that highlights returning student-athletes that have excelled on the field this past season. Ehrhardt is recognized as one of the league’s top distance runners as she verified that status with several top finishes, conference-leading times, and a host of new school records in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field.
“Tess is a great combination of talent and hard work,” said head coach Jim Knoedel. “Sometimes I think she doesn't realize how talented she is and how dominant she can be down the road. As good as she has done for us, I know she will far exceed all she has accomplished so far.”
Ehrhardt began the 2012-13 athletic season with a team-best sixth-place showing at the Horizon League Cross Country Championships last October, finishing the 5K course in a time of 18:20. She was named to the All-Conference First-Team and guided the Flames to a runner-up trophy, the program’s highest all-time finish.
During the indoor season, Ehrhardt helped rewrite the UIC records book with top times in the mile, 3,000 meters and as a member of the distance medley relay (DMR). Her 3,000 time of 10:08.65 was set on Jan. 25 at the Indiana Relays as she crossed the tape third, competing against some of the country’s top runners. At the 2012 Horizon League Indoor Championships, Ehrhardt notched the UIC mile record with a second-place result of 4:55.54. She went on to anchor the DMR with a record time of 11:57.43, winning the race by more than 10 seconds. The Geneva, Ill., native was responsible for 16.5 of her team’s 51 points at the championship event.
Ehrhardt set her fourth and final school record of the year during the outdoor season in the 3,000 m. steeplechase. Her time of 10:58.91 was set on May 9 at the Dr. Keeler Invitational and also served as the top Horizon League’s top mark of the season. The junior-to-be captured a third-place medal in the steeplechase at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships in early May.
“Tess demands a lot of herself and the daily work she puts in meets this expectation,” said Knoedel. “I always felt the sign of a hard worker is that they do the extra work when it hasn't been asked for or they put in the extra morning runs when they aren't on the schedule. She is the type of person that will naturally fall into the role of leader. She understands the importance of team success and team dynamic, so she makes sure everyone is working hard and on the same page.”