Cross Country Set to Begin 2012 Season with Home Opener

Sophomore Rebbeca Zaiter
Sophomore Rebbeca Zaiter

Aug. 30, 2012

CHICAGO - The 2012 cross country season will kick off this Saturday with the Flame's home opening meet in Palos Heights, Ill.  Six schools are scheduled to compete in the event including, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, Chicago State and St. Xavier.  The women's two-mile race will begin at 10 a.m. CT with the men's 4.1-mile race starting at 10:30 a.m.

"With Milwaukee and Green Bay there, it will be a good chance to see how we're doing," said head coach Jim Knoedel.  "We should be able to run with them throughout the meet."

Fifteen runners compile the 2012 women's roster with four seniors highlighting the group.  Maggie Banasik, Jamie Johnson, Ariel Kirby and Grace Millhorn enter their final season of eligibility and look to pilot a young crop of runners along with juniors Marie Carlson and Michelle KnapczykVanessa Connelley, Tess Ehrhardt, Megan Gross, Colleen Moran, and Rebecca Zaiter comprise the five sophomores on the squad, while newcomers Lauren Lindholm, Takshaka Patel, Emma Preston and Stephanie Sanders make up the freshman contingent.

"Our seniors will provide great leadership and they have done a good job with that already," said Knoedel.

On the men' side, three seniors return to pilot the Flames including John Glass, Peter Grimson and Matt ZaluckyjArash Darbandi, Angelos Karkalis, Photis Karkalis, Thomas Kohs and Curtis Weisenberger will compete as juniors this season with Kosta Papazoglou and Gunnar Sterne compiling the sophomores.  The men's largest class will be the freshman with six including Lucas Beltran, Billy Clink, Marcus Garcia, Pat Niyork, Carlitos Rangel and Nick Reyes.

"We lost our top three runners from last year, but we have some good athletes coming back," said Knoedel.

The Flames will compete in six meets throughout the fall season in preparation for the Horizon League Championship on Oct. 27 in Kenosha, Wis.