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Fraser Breaks DePaul Record With One of Nation's Top Performances



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The number of student-athletes representing DePaul at the 49er Classic may have been small, but the Blue Demons did big things during their first day of the outdoor campaign.  In her season debut, Melissa Fraser won the hammer throw with a record-breaking performance, while BIG EAST Conference Championship qualifying standards were met in six different events.

Fraser, a junior hailing from Hillsburgh, Ontario, needed only her first throw, measuring 52.08m, to defeat the field of 31.   It was her next throw of 55.54m, however, that gave Fraser her second school record. 

With today's performance the junior, who also holds the DePaul javelin record, ranks No. 9 on the NCAA hammer throw performance list.  The top 48 marks, per region, earn a spot in the NCAA preliminary rounds, held on May 28-29.  In addition, today's performance drastically surpassed the BIG EAST Conference Championship qualifying distance of 45.12m.

Alanna Kovacs kept the wave of success going, launching a discus throw of 45.85m to mark the best performance the sophomore has ever had when competing for DePaul.  Kovacs placed second overall, and eclipsed the BIG EAST standard by more than five meters.

Both Kovacs and Fraser return to action at 9 a.m. (CST) tomorrow morning for the javelin throw.  Kovacs will continue in the afternoon with the shot put competition.

The three Blue Demons to race in the 400m cruised through the preliminaries today, easily earning a spot in tomorrow's final.  In the women's race, Mary Cate Quiett won her heat with a BIG EAST qualifying time of 56.53, and enters tomorrow's final as the No. 4 seed.  Lindsey Holden qualified in the eight spot, clocking a time of 57.67.

In the men's race, Tonderai Tomu took first place in his heat and second overall in the preliminaries behind a league-championship qualifying time of 47.56.  In addition to entering tomorrow final ranked No. 2, the freshman sits in the No. 2 spot on the national performance list during this young outdoor season.

Joe Strawder picked up the outdoor season right were the indoor campaign left off, landing a long jump of 7.25m to finish in second place.  Most recently, Strawder picked up All-BIG EAST accolades after taking second place at the BIG EAST Indoor Championship.

Both Holden and Tomu continued on in the 200m preliminaries, but finished just outside of the top-eight runners who move on to the finals.  Holden recorded a ninth-place time of 25.19, while Tomu earned his second BIG EAST Championship bid of the day with an 11th-place time of 21.84.

All-BIG EAST shot putter Tim Nedow opened his outdoor season competing in the men's hammer throw, and finished his day with a distance of 42.79m.  He'll return to the throwing pit tomorrow for both the shot put and the discus throw.

The Blue Demons continue the 49er Classic tomorrow morning, beginning at 9 a.m.  Live results and recaps will be available on www.DePaulBlueDemons.com.