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Blue Demons Hit the Road for the ISU Classic
The DePaul men's and women's track and field teams gear up for the final meet before the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Indoor Championship, competing at the ISU Classic on Feb. 12-13. The contest is the last opportunity for individuals to qualify for the
CHICAGO - The DePaul men's and women's track and field teams gear up for the final meet before the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Indoor Championship, competing at the ISU Classic on Feb. 12-13. The contest is the last opportunity for individuals to qualify for the league meet on Feb. 20-21, and join the 19 Blue Demon student-athletes who have already earned bids earlier in the season.
While the Classic kicks off at the Lied Recreation Center on Thurs., Feb. 11 with the heptathlon and pentathlon events, action for DePaul starts on Friday at 1:00 p.m. (CST) when Alanna Kovacs, Virginia MacFabe and Katelyn MacFabe take on the women's weight throw. The day's running events start at 3:30, featuring Stephanie Hughes in the 5,000m.
The men's squad, currently ranked No. 14 on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association Midwest Regional rankings, is led by seniors Brad Millar and Joe Strawder. Millar, who tops the BIG EAST ranks in the weight throw, sits at No. 11 in the national ranks with a career-best distance of 20.48m. Strawder, who broke DePaul's 25-year-old record in the triple jump earlier this season, is listed at No. 2 on both the BIG EAST and Midwest Regional polls.
Mary Cate Quiett leads the way for the No. 18 regionally-ranked women's team, meeting the NCAA provisional standard during her record-breaking 800m run last weekend at the Meyo Invitational. Coupled with Millar, is the first time the Blue Demons have had both a male and a female eclipse the NCAA provisional standard during the indoor season. Flotrack, a website dedicated to the involvement and education about the sport of track and field, caught up with Quiett just after her latest performance.
Track and Field Videos on Flotrack
Both men's and women's 300m records were re-set last weekend as well. Freshmen Tonderai Tomu and Lindsey Holden each wrote their names in the history books after running times of 35.10 and 39.59, respectively. They both would go one to meet the BIG EAST standard in the 400m.
The ISU Classic concludes at approximately 8:30 p.m., when DePaul hits the track for the 4x400m relay. Final results and recaps can be found at www.DePaulBlueDemons.com.
Quiett Riot Mary Cate Quiett has owned the 600m, 800m, and 1,000m school records since her freshman campaign, and has continued to better those records every season. Her latest 800m time of 2:08.63 puts her on top of the BIG EAST performance list, and gives the junior her first NCAA provisional qualifying mark of the indoor season. Last season, Quiett placed fifth during the indoor league championships in the 800m.
First Time's A Charm Tonderai Tomu, who was added to the roster in January, made his first appearance in a Blue Demon uniform at the Meyo Invitational. In his first trip out of the blocks, he broke DePaul's 300m record after clocking a time of 35.10. The followed up that performance with a 400m time of 49.21, good enough to qualify for the BIG EAST Championship on Feb. 20-21.
No Halting Holden Freshman Lindsey Holden mirrored Tomu's performance for the women's squad, breaking Sherri Bean's 22-year-old 300m record with a time of 39.59. Holden continued on to tally her fourth BIG EAST qualifying mark in the 400m.
19 Kids and Counting Toni Salvatore and Tomu added their names to the list of BIG EAST qualifiers for DePaul, bringing the total to 19. Salvatore had career-best marks in both the 800m and the 1,000m to earn a bid to the league meet, while Tomu became the Blue Demon's first 400m entrant. Of the 19 student-athletes, 10 have qualified for multiple events including Terah Cheatham (Mile, 3,000m), Holden (200m, 400m), Alanna Kovacs (Shot Put, Weight Throw), Quiett (800m, Mile, 1,000m), Salvatore (800m, 1,000m), Matt Babicz (Shot put, Weight Throw), Matthew Graham (3,000m. 5,000m) Chris Kyles (60m, 200m) Greg Udzielak (Mile, 1,000m), and Joe Strawder (Long and Triple Jump).
Millar Making Milestones... Again Brad Millar was named BIG EAST Field Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week and the third time in his illustrious career following the Indiana Relays. Millar once again dominated the weight throw, winning the competition after launching the weight a distance of 20.48m. He currently ranks 11th on the NCAA National performance list, and first on the BIG EAST's counter part by more than a meter.
Graham in Record Books at Home & Abroad Matthew Graham, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, set two records after logging a 3,000m time of 8:18.22 at the Indiana Relays. Not only did the performance set a Blue Demon all-time best, but Graham now holds the under-20 Scottish National Record for the 3,000m.
Jumping Joe Senior jumper Joe Strawder, who continues to extend his career-best in nearly every meet he has appeared in, laid claim to DePaul indoor triple jump record have landing a jump of 15.34m at the Indiana Relays. His distance broke Leornard Vance's 25-year-old record of 14.93m. Strawder now owns both the indoor and outdoor triple jump records. Last time out, at the Meyo Invitational, he almost replicated his record-breaking performance by landing a triple jump of 15.33m.
Topping the Podium Millar, Time Vala and Matt Babicz were the top-three attached weight throwers at the Badger Track Classic, while Tim Nedow and Jim Theologes claimed two of the top-three spots in the men's shot put. Also earning first-place honors was Terah Cheatham (3,000m), who finished one-two along with Stacy Schmitz, Tyler Schmitt (1,000m), Toni Salvarore (1,000m), and Greg Udzielak (800m).
New in Blue Nedow, a transfer from Tulsa who was added to the roster in January, has already made a statement in the BIG EAST after his first meet in a Blue Demon uniform. He shattered his previous indoor shot put PR by more than a meter with a distance of 16.94m at the Purdue Invitational. After just two meets, the sophomore ranks second on the league's descending order list.
January's other addition is sprinter Tonderai Tomu. The Stevanage, England native made his debut at the Meyo Invitational and walked away with a DePaul Record and a BIG EAST qualification.
Looking Good At The Loftus Sports Center The Blue Demons have competed at the Notre Dame facility three times so far this season, and have seen tremendous success when visiting our neighbors in Northwest Indiana. Four school records, as well as numerous BIG EAST qualifications and first-place finishes occurred on the Meyo Track located within the facility. The Blue Demons return to the Loftus Center one last time, for the Alex Wilson Invitational on Mar. 5-6.
Purdue Playback The Blue Demons opened 2010 at the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind. Highlighting the evening was Joe Strawder and Idia Omogiate, who picked up wins in the triple jump and 60m, respectively. Strawder eclipsed the BIG EAST standard in both the long and triple jumps, while Alanna Kovacs (shot put), Tim Vala (weight throw), and Kyles (60m) also earned a nod.
Strawder Making Strides Strawder, a senior jumper from Houston, Texas, earned his third triple-jump win of the season at the Notre Dame Indoor Opener, nailing a career-best leap of 14.89m to come within just an inch-and-one-half short of the school record. Earlier this year, Strawder won the triple jump at the Blue and Gold Meet in dramatic fashion. Finding himself in last place after fouling on his first three passes down the runway, he landed a jump of 14.30m to claim the win. The heroic effort earned him BIG EAST Field Athlete of the Week honors.
You Give An Inch... ... and the Blue Demons will take the mile. And the shot put. And the weight throw. Four student-athletes have qualified for the BIG EAST Indoor Championships in both the mile and the shot put, while five Blue Demons have qualified in the weight throw. Mile runners include Terah Cheatham, Mary Cate Quiett, Max Rodrigues and Greg Udzielak, who have all logged top-five finishes in the event during their qualifying performances.
Four Blue Demons are on their way to the league championships for the shot put including Kovacs, Nedow, Theologes and Babicz. Kovacs currently ranks 12th on the BIG EAST performance list, while all three of the men rank in the top-10.
Weight throwers earning a berth in the conference meet include Millar, Tim Vala, Babicz, Kovacs and Katelyn MacFabe. Miller has not relinquished his No. 1 BIG EAST ranking all season, while Vala and Babics find themselves at No. 15 and No. 18, respectively, on the performance list. Kovacs and MacFabe also fall within the leagues top-15.
Quiett Making Noise Quiett, a junior from Mishawaka, Ind., got 2009-10 season off right, breaking her DePaul indoor 1,000m record for the third time in as many years at the Blue and Gold Meet held at Notre Dame. Her time of 2:52.83 was not only 10 seconds faster than the second-place runner, but it also met the BIG EAST qualification mark in the event. Quiett followed that up with two additional BIG EAST nods; one at the EIU Earlier Bird Classic, where she qualified in the mile, and an 800m qualification clocked at the Notre Dame Indoor Opener.
Week One Winner x2 Quiett and Strawder made Blue Demon history, claiming two of the four BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week Awards for their performances at the Blue and Gold Meet during the first week of competition. Not only is the honor a first for either student-athlete, but it is also the first time that DePaul has claimed more than one of the awards in a single week. Quiett and Strawder join thrower Brad Millar and cross country runner Matthew Graham on the elite list of Athlete of the Week awardees for the Blue Demons.
Kyles' a Keeper In his first-ever collegiate race, freshman Chris Kyles broke the DePaul 60m record, clocking a time of 6.97 en route to a second-place finish at the Blue and Gold Meet. Kyles repeated his 6.97 performance during the preliminaries of the Eastern Illinois Early Bird Classic.
Up Next: The Blue Demons head to New York City for the BIG EAST Conference Championship. Student-athletes from the league's 16 institutions gather at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory on Feb. 20-21 to battle for BIG EAST Champion honors.