Strong finish for Blue Demon sophomore in 3000-meter steeplechase
Highlights and interviews from DePaul Invitational at Lane Tech Stadium.
Andrew Craycraft, an accomplished middle-distance runner at St. Joseph's University and the University of North Carolina, joined the DePaul Athletic staff as a part-time assistant coach for cross country and track and field teams in the fall of 2008 and became a full-time assistant coach in the spring of 2011. Craycraft assists both squads with recruiting and developing mid-distance and distance runners.
His biggest success stories at DePaul are Matthew Graham and Mary Cate Quiett. Graham was a three-time, All-BIG EAST Conference runner in cross country with a BIG EAST Championships finish of third place in 2010. He was a two-time All-BIG EAST performer in track---finishing third at the conference meet in the steeplechase in 2010 and 2012. He is the DePaul record holder in the 3K (8:09), 5K (14:13) and outdoor steeplechase (8:51). His third-place finish in the steeplechase at the BIG EAST meet in 2010 with a time of 8:51 was the fourth-best time in the world by a junior according to IAAF rankings. Graham went on to dominate the United Kingdom Championships and earn a spot on the Great Britain team that competed in the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Craycraft's work withQuiett helped her become the 2010 BIG EAST Indoor Track champion in the 800 meters, and Quiett holds the school record at 2:06 indoors. She qualified for the 2010 USA Track & Field Indoor Championships where she finished 14th. Quiett qualified five consecutive seasons for the USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships and had a personal-best time of 2:04 for the 800m which was a U.S. Olympic Trials "B" standard at the time of her graduation. She set school records in the 600m, 800m and 1K indoors and the 800m outdoors.Quiett qualified for the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 800m and was a Drake Relays runner-up in the 800 in 2010.
Craycraft has helped the Blue Demons earn NCAA Championships Preliminary Round qualifiers five times, and Quiett was an NCAA All-American Honorable Mention selection in the 800m. Under his leadership, his student-athletes have set cross country and track school records 14 times and been honored as All-BIG EAST performers in track and cross country seven times.
During his freshman and sophomore seasons competing at St. Joseph's, Craycraft set school records in the 800m dash, 1:48.83, and the 4x800m relay, 7:25; records which still stand today. He also broke the school record in the 500m when he won the race during the 2002 Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Championships meet. At UNC, he won the 800m dash with a time of 1:52.49 at the 2003 ACC Conference Indoor Championships. His best time in the event was 1:48.91, which set a UNC men's indoor record.
Craycraft served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Michigan State University women's cross country and track and field teams. While there, the Spartans made their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, in addition to producing two All-Great Lakes Region athletes.
During the track and field season, Craycraft sent four of his athletes to the Mid-East Regional Championships. From there, Nicole Bush qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 3,000m steeplechase and was named an All-American.
Off the track, Craycraft has experienced tremendous success as both a student-athlete and a coach. During his 2004 season at UNC he was named to the ACC Academic All-Conference team, in addition to being given the Athletic Director's Student-Athlete Award. While coaching at MSU, his cross country squad was ranked 32nd in the nation with an overall team GPA of 3.61. All-Academic Team honors were bestowed upon them by the Women's Intercollegiate Cross Country Association.
After earning his degree in History from UNC, Craycraft went on to pursue a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. He was licensed and practiced law with a small Rockford, Illinois firmin an Of Counsel capacity where he developed a successful practice concentrated on the niche area of Special Education Law. Craycraft successfully represented families of children with special needs in State and Federal Administrative Complaints at lawfiled against school districts who were not providing the education and/or services guaranteed to those families.He currently maintainshis law license and does some consultation work with court-appointed assignments as a certitified mediator and arbitrator in the circuit court system.