Cross Country Season Kicks Off With UIC Home Opener
Aug 29, 2013
CHICAGO- The UIC men’s and women’s cross country program will begin its 2013 season by hosting the annual UIC Home Opener, taking place on Saturday, August 31st at the Horse Trail Lake in Palos Heights, Ill. The meet kicks off at 10:00 a.m. CT with the women’s two-mile race, immediately followed by the men’s 4.1-mile contest.
With both the men’s and women’s teams finishing second at the 2012 Horizon League Championship, head coach Jim Knoedel and the Flames are prepared to take the 2013 crown. Knoedel returns a total of eight seniors on the men’s team and seven seniors on the women’s side.
“The upperclassmen are invaluable members of the team,” said Knoedel. “They act as assistant coaches for the newcomers by giving them tips and teaching them things that I can’t.”
The men’s squad enters the season with senior Angelos Karkalis (Mount Prospect, Ill. / Rolling Meadows) who is ready to lead the team after his impressive sixth place finish at the Horizon League Championship last year. Also returning for the Flames is sophomore, Marcus Garcia (Palatine, Ill. / Palatine) who placed 11th for the Flames in the conference meet.
On the women’s side, the Flames look to improve their runner-up performance in last year’s home opener. Returners for the women include, juniors Tess Ehrhardt (Geneva, Ill. /Geneva) and Rebecca Zaiter (Elmhurst, Ill. /York) who placed sixth and tenth, respectively, in the 2012 Horizon League Championship. Sophomores Emma Preston (East Peoria, Ill. / East Peoria) and Lauren Lindholm (Aurora, Ill. /Mata Valley) who placed ninth and twelfth, respectively, last year, look to spark the season this Saturday.
The competition this weekend will include fellow conference members Milwaukee and Green Bay, crosstown competitors DePaul and Northwestern, and in-state squads from Chicago State and St. Xavier.
“It will be great to see how we match up against some teams in our conference and to see our squads go up against a team like Northwestern,” said coach Knoedel.
The Flames will compete in six meets throughout the fall season in preparation for the Horizon League Championship on Nov. 2nd in Youngstown, Ohio.