Cross country teams score high at tourney

Tess Ehrhardt

Tess Ehrhardt finished 33rd at the NIU Invitational.

The men’s and women’s cross country team concluded action at the Northern Illinois Invitational Friday with the men’s squad claiming second place and the women earning fourth.

The men tallied three top 10 finishers, out-paced only by Marquette, who captured the team title.

“We’re doing a better job of packing runners and if we continue to close the gap between No. 1 and No. 7, there is no doubt we will have a very successful season,” head coach Jim Knoedel said.

Junior Angelos Karkalis piloted the men’s team with a fourth-place finish in the 6K race, crossing the line at 19:26.33. Teammates Pat Nyork (19:29.85) and Arash Darbandi (19:38.17) followed to place seventh and tenth, respectively.

Photis Karkalis wasn’t far behind in 11th place with a time of 19:38.88. Billy Clink, the reigning Horizon League Runner of the Week, finished 12th with a result of 19:40.45.

“Angelos Karkalis had a second great race and I am very impressed with the strides he has made from last fall,” Knoede said. “He’s put in a lot of miles and the results are turning up in fast times.”

Freshman Emma Preston guided the women’s team, finishing 17th overall with 18:35.84 in the 5K race. Tess Ehrhardt finished 33rd in a time of 19:13.26.

“Our women ran short-handed but I was still very pleased with the team effort,” Knoedel said. “We had an impressive performance from Emma Preston as she came out on top for the Flames. Emma has shown flashes of her talent in practice and let everyone know that she is one of the best freshmen in the Horizon League.”

The Flames return to action Friday at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships hosted by Illinois State in Normal. The action is set to start at 4:15 p.m.

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