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Women in Third, Men in Fourth After Day One at the Armory
Xavier Jones

Xavier Jones

Feb. 21, 2014

Live Results | Championship Central | Results (Men) | Results (Women) | Results (Team Scores)

NEW YORK - The DePaul track and field teams provided plenty of highlights on day one of the BIG EAST Indoor Championships at the Armory in upper Manhattan.

After Friday's results, the Blue Demon women sit in third place with 26 points, just 22 points off Villanova's first-place pace (48). On the men's side, DePaul is in fourth (16 points), trailing Villanova (57), Marquette (44) and Georgetown (37).

"For all intensive purposes, today was a very good day," said head coach Dave Dopek. "We had kids step up to the podium today and plenty qualifiers in Saturday's finals, so it was a real nice start." 

In Friday's heats, freshman Xavier Jones paced the Blue Demons in the men's 60-meter dash, qualifying for Saturday's finals with a personal record of 6.93 seconds, the fastest time of the day. Joe Turner also moved through the prelims to the finals, qualifying in seventh position with a time of 7.13 seconds.

In the men's 200-meter prelims, DePaul's Tonderai Tomu (21.72), Jones (21.95) and Mac Melto (22.13) posted the day's three top times, allowing the three to qualify for Saturday's finals.

Tomu (48.17) also finished with the fastest time in the 400 prelims to move ahead to tomorrow's final. Joining him will be Melto (48.90) and freshman Chaz Bottoms (49.82).

Senior Chris Miedema (1:05.45) qualified for Saturday's 500-meter final and Adam Kovacs (16.97m) took third in the weight throw.

"Our sprinters really showed up today. We had a large number of qualifiers for Saturday's events," Dopek said. "We said in our meeting our number one goal heading into the event was to move through the prelims and get to the finals in the best possible lanes. We will have lots of representation tomorrow in very good lanes and people will be seeing a lot of us."

On the women's side, DePaul posted three qualifying times in the 60-meter dash. Tayler Whittler's finish of 7.59 seconds, which tied the school record that she set earlier this year, represented one of those times, along with Ayesha Ewing (7.78) and Shayna Nwokenkwo (7.81).

Whittler (24.52) and Ewing (24.89) will participate in Saturday's 200-meter final as well.

In the 500, freshman Shianne Baggett logged a time of 1:15.88 seconds to get past the prelims, while junior Jackie Kasal (2:12.27) qualified for the 800-meter final.

In the women's long jump, freshman MaShayla Kirksy registered the longest jump of her young career, 5.86 meters, to place second in Friday's finals. Also performing well in the field events were Sarah Moss (17.48 meters) and Jazmyne Durrah (17.01 meters), who placed second and third, respectfully, in the finals of the women's weight throw.

"Obviously, our goal is to see how high we can place as a team and to get as many athletes up to the podium as possible," Dopek added. "We are exactly where we are supposed to be after day one and I'm really excited about tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to seeing where we end up."

The 2014 BIG EAST Indoor Championships conclude tomorrow at the Armory.