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    Sophomore Billy Clink
     
    Sophomore Billy Clink
     
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    Sept. 12, 2013

    CHICAGO - The UIC cross country program will travel to Normal, Ill., on Friday, Sept. 13 for the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships.  The women's 5K race is set to start at 5:00 p.m. CT with the men's 8K race beginning at 5:45 p.m. at Weibring Golf Club.  This Friday's meet will serve as the Flames season opener after last week's UIC opener was postponed.

    "Missing the first meet has given us a chance to work a little harder going into this weekend, so there has been an upside to starting later," said Knoedel.

    During the 2012 Illinois Intercollegiate Championships, the men's squad took home fourth-place honors.  Sophomore Billy Clink secured a 10th place spot with a time of 25:11.64, followed by fellow teammates and seniors, Angelos and Photis Karkalis, who earned competitive times of 25:23.49 and 25:52.33, respectively. 

    "I've noticed many of the younger athletes getting stronger each week and closing the gap on the veterans," said Knoedel.  "Our strength this year will be our depth and a decreasing gap from #1 through #7."

    In last year's Illinois Intercollegiate Championships, the women's team competed in a 6K race earning competitive times from sophomore's Emma Preston (18:16.80) and Lauren Lindholm (19:09.19).  This weekend the women's team will be racing on a 5K trail as they look to improve their sixth-place finish from 2012.

    In preparation to compete against numerous in-state rivals such as Illinois State, Loyola, and Bradley, Knoedel offered his team important advice. 

    "I've told both the men and women that we should be going after the team title even though this will be some tough competition," shared Knoedel.  "Attitude and success go hand-in-hand so I continually preach to the kids to expect the best and believe you can do it."