April 3, 2013
CHICAGO - After further establishing themselves at the top of the school record boards this past weekend, two members of Loyola's track & field squads have been recognized with weekly honors by the Horizon League. Senior Gina Valgoi was named the Co-Female Runner of the Week, sharing the honor with Rebecca Zaiter from UIC, while junior James McLachlan was named Male Field Athlete of the Week.
"We had a spectacular weekend across the board," said Loyola head track & field coach Randy Hasenbank. "James and Gina are each ranked number five in the country in their respective events. They have assured themselves spots in NCAA first round competition in Austin, TX and I expect them to battle for a spot in the NCAA final round in Eugene, Oregon in June. We should also recognize Kevin Glastetter's performance. With a 47.24 school record in the 400 meters, a current national ranking of 21 and a West Region ranking of 11, he is our track athlete of the week".
Valgoi, out of Detroit, Mich., turned in one of her finest performances of her storied career at Loyola last Friday night. Under the lights at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Cal., she crushed her own school record in the 10,000m run, finishing ninth in a field full of national contenders. Her time of 33:07.80 currently leads the Horizon League and ranks fourth in the NCAA West Region. By virtue of her time, Valgoi will also qualify for the USA Championships as her mark is well under the "A-Standard" of 33:20.
"Gina put together a very nice run and was in a race with some of the top women in the world in addition to competing with the top collegians," commented Hasenbank. "The athlete of the week award is well deserved".
McLachlan was dominant in his outdoor debut. The Wymondham, England product cruised to a first-place finish in the long jump with a top jump of 7.70m. Like Valgoi, McLachlan elevated his own school record in the event. His mark leads both the Horizon League and the NCAA West Region, while ranking fifth on the national leaderboard.
"The outdoor season has started well for James," continued Hasenbank. "He was disappointed with his indoor season as he just missed the NCAA indoor finals. He is healthy and looking forward to even bigger jumps here in the near future. With the meets on our schedule and the improving weather he has some big jumps coming. We are proud of his recognition by the league office".
Loyola will be back in action this weekend at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. and the Chicagoland Championships in Chicago, April 5-6.