Nov. 27, 2012
CHICAGO - The 2012-13 edition of Loyola track & field officially begins on Friday with both the men's and women's squads traveling to Allendale, Mich. to compete at the Laker Early Bird Invitational, hosted by Grand Valley State University. The Rambler sprinters, jumpers and throwers are all excited to competed.
The men's side will be looking to improve on their runner-up finish from last season's Horizon League Indoor Championships, while the women will look to move up from their fourth place finish. Youth will be served, as the Ramblers will line up no less than twenty new faces.
"We are very excited to get the season going," said head coach Randy Hasenbank. "The teams have been working hard all fall and this is a bit of a reward. Practices have gone well and we have a lot of athletes eager to compete. This meet also provides our coaching staff with an early assessment of each squad as they head into the winter break."
On Saturday, the program will recognize the school's first two track & field All-Americans in nearly twenty years. Declan Murray and James McLachlan each earned second team All-American honors at the NCAA National Indoor Championships last March.
Murray, a three-time national qualifier who holds a number of school records, earned his award in the 800-meter race. He now holds both the indoor and outdoor school records at 800 meters. McLachlan will be recognized for his All-American performance in the long jump. In addition to holding the indoor and outdoor long jump records, James also owns the school record in the indoor and outdoor triple jump. He was recognized as the Horizon League Field Athlete of the Meet at the league championship meet last February.
The weekend wraps up on Sunday at noon, as the program will host the 2012 Loyola University Chicago Banquet for both track & field and cross country. The event will be held at the Lake Shore Campus on the fourth floor of the Information Commons overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan.
The event serves to recognize excellence within both programs. Both academic and athletic accomplishments will be celebrated. Charles "Chuck" Whittingham ('51) will serve as the guest speaker. Whittingham holds several school records, is a Damen Award recipient and is also a member of the Loyola University Chicago Athletic Hall of Fame.
Following the Laker Early Bird Invitational, the Loyola University Chicago men's and women's track & field squads will return to action in the new year at the Iowa New Year's Classic in Iowa City, Iowa on Saturday, January 12.