Kirk captured the league's first weekly honor of the season after setting three records at this past weekend's UAB Blazer Invitational.
Jan. 14, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB’s Elinor Kirk was named the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday.
Kirk opened her indoor season this past Saturday at the UAB Blazer Invitational, and started off with a record-breaking performance at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The graduate student from Swansea, Wales, won the women’s 3,000-meter run, and topped the second-place finisher by 38 seconds. Kirk shattered the meet record by 55 seconds, the CrossPlex mark by four seconds and the UAB record, which she set a year ago, by nine seconds.
Kirk’s time of 9:14.10 ranks as the No. 2 mark in the nation in indoor this season, behind Butler’s Mara Olson, who ran a 9:11.86 at the Hoosier Open Dec. 13.
“We're all honored to have Eli recognized by the conference,” assistant coach Tony Houchin said. “This is just a testimony to the hard work she puts in everyday. Whereas this is an award for one athlete, I think it's indicative of the direction our program as a whole is headed.”
Kirk just recently capped off one of the most successful seasons in Blazer cross country history last fall. Kirk earned the Conference USA Female Athlete of the Year for her sport following her performance during the 2013 cross country season. She was UAB's third qualifier in history to run in the NCAA Nationals and captured medalist honors when she won the conference individual title in early November. She was the only Conference USA female participant at the NCAAs in Terre Haute, Ind., and finished 87th of 254 runners at the meet.
Kirk and the Blazers will be back in action Jan. 24 at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invite in Nashville, Tenn.
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