Cross Country Adds Six Newcomers for the 2013 Season

Head track and field and XC coach Jim Knoedel.
Head track and field and XC coach Jim Knoedel.

July 10, 2013

CHICAGO – UIC head track and field and cross country coach Jim Knoedel recently announced the addition of six newcomers to the Flames’ cross country program.  Three females and three males will look to help UIC improve upon their runner-up performances at last year’s Horizon League Championships.  Joining the women’s squad will be Lizzie Deutsch (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East), Brittany Schwarz (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) and Vanessa Garcia (Summit, Ill./Argo), while the men bring on Kyle Hauser (Palos Heights, Ill./Marist), Jake Runnion (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East) and Neel Patel (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West).

“I can see many runners from this group coming in and competing right away,” said Knoedel.  “These six newcomers have a lot of talent and will certainly help us score points in cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track.”

Deutsch is no stranger to the championship stage as her St. Charles East Saints placed third at the Illinois State Cross Country meet in 2011.  During the track season, the Saints earned the conference and sectional team title in back-to-back efforts (2012-13).  Deutsch owns personal-best times of 11:54 in the 3,200 meters and 18:52.80 in the three-mile.

Schwarz has proven herself as one of Illinois’ best prep runners, producing top times throughout her entire high school career.  During her freshman season she placed sixth in the 800-meter run at the IHSA Track and Field Championships and followed that up with an 11th and 10th place showing her sophomore and junior years, respectively.  Her career-best 800 m. time of 2:17.77 would have placed sixth at the 2013 Horizon League Outdoor Championships.  Schwarz has also shown excellence in longer distance, crossing the finish line 20th at the 2011 IHSA Cross Country Championships. 



Garcia comes to UIC from Argo High School and will add depth to the Flames’ talented crop of distance runners, rounding out the female newcomers.

Hauser is fresh off a standout senior season as he placed fifth in the 800 m. at the IHSA Track and Field Championships in 2013.  He owns a career-best time of 1:53.98 in the 800 m., which stands as the 11th best result in Illinois last year.  During his junior season, Hauser clocked a personal-best 4:15.87 at the IHSA meet to place ninth in the 1,600 m. run.  Hauser also placed 34th as an individual at the2012 IHSA Cross Country Championships with a three-mile time of 14:55.00.

Runnion and Patel have proven to run quality times as they round out UIC’s male cross country newcomers.  Runnion qualified for the 2013 IHSA meet in the 800 m., placing second at the second at the Joliet West Sectional with a career-best time of 1:55.34.  Patel owns personal-best times of 9:57.98 and 15:53 in the 3,200 m. and three-mile, respectively.

The Flames will kick off the 2013 cross country season on Aug. 31 at the UIC Opener in Palos Heights, Ill.