Nov. 2, 2012
CHICAGO - After helping the cross country teams to first-place finishes at the Horizon League Championship, senior Gina Valgoi (Detroit, Mich./Regina) and sophomore Sam Penzenstadler (Oshkosh, Wis./Oshkosh West) have been selected as Loyola University Chicago's Athletes of the Month it was announced today. This marks the third straight month that Penzenstadler has earned the honor.
One of the top runners in recent Loyola history, Valgoi, who has been an All-Horizon League performer in each of her four seasons in Rogers Park, won the women's individual title at the Horizon League Championship with a time of 17:05. The senior's first-place showing gave the Ramblers their first individual champion on the women's side since Kristyne McGuinn in 2001.
Valgoi, who was named First Team All-Horizon League following the October 28 meet, helped the Loyola women's cross country team to the Horizon League title, its first since 2008. In addition, she was also the Ramblers' top finisher in the seeded race at the NCAA Pre-National Meet in Louisville, Ky., on October 13, clocking in with a time of 21:00 in the 6K race.
For the third consecutive month Penzenstadler was named Loyola's Male Athlete of the Month. The sophomore helped the Loyola men's cross country team to its first Horizon League title since 2001 and its first outright title since 1997 by placing first overall in the 8K race with a mark of 24:59.
A First Team All-Horizon League pick this season after earning Second Team accolades last fall as a freshman, Penzenstadler is Loyola's first Horizon League men's individual champion since Eddie Slowikowski in 1989.
At the NCAA Pre-National Meet on October 13, Penzenstadler was Loyola's top finisher as he completed the 8K course in 24:38.
Both Loyola cross country squads return to action November 9 when they participate in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Springfield, Mo.