Track and Field Opens 2009 Outdoor Season
CHICAGO The DePaul men’s and women’s track and field teams open their 2009 outdoor campaign this weekend at the Texas-Arlington Bobby Lane Invitational and the North Park Viking Classic. The Blue Demons compete Friday on SMU’s Morrison Bell Track, and in Maverick Stadium located on the campus of UTA on Saturday. The select members of the team remaining in Chicago are slated to run on the West River Park Track located on city’s north side on Saturday.
Bobby Lane Invitational
The Blue Demons resume competition on Saturday at 9 a.m. when Melissa Fraser enters the women’s javelin throw. As a freshman, Fraser won the BIG EAST title in the event, and qualified for the NCAA National Championships after placing third in the Mideast Regional with a personal-best throw of 49.52m.
Joe Strawder defends his 2008 Bobby Lane Invitational title in the long jump at 11 a.m. Last season as a sophomore, Strawder won the event and surpassed the NCAA regional qualification distance with his jump of 7.41m.
The shot put competition gets underway at 1 p.m. for the women and 3:30 p.m. for the men. During the 2008-09 indoor season, freshman Alanna Kovacs logged the season-best mark, surpassing the BIG EAST standard with a distance of 13.03m.
Running events begin at 1:00 p.m. with the women’s 3,000m run, with the men’s 3,000m steeplechase to follow. Terah Cheatham and Matthew Graham lead the Blue Demon distance runners, having both logged the team-best times in the 3,000m run during the indoor season. This will be Graham’s first steeplechase in a DePaul uniform, after winning the Scottish U20 2,000m steeplechase as a senior in high school.
Middle-distance standout Mary Cate Quiett placed second at last year’s invitational with a time of 2:12.37 in the 800m. She went on to set a new school record with a time of 2:08.35 later in the season. Most recently, she re-set her own indoor 800m record with a time of 2:10.00 at the Alex Wilson Invitational.
The sprinters are led by the men’s trio of Patrick Smith, Gabe Harris, and Gilbert Lifton. Smith and Harris both recorded the top-two times in the indoor-400m earlier this season, while Lifton proved to be the Blue Demons’ fastest 200m sprinter.
The field features teams from TCU, SMU, Oklahoma, Missouri State, Tulsa, North Texas, St. John's, Bethany, Cameron, Dallas Baptist, East Central, Northwood, Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Commerce, UT Arlington, UT Tyler and Wayland Baptist. Several Olympic Athletes are scheduled to compete, including three-time gold medalist Jeremy Wariner, who will be running in the 200m dash.
Chris Johnston looks to increase his school-record height of 3.96m in the pole vault at 11:15.
Running event start at 12:25, when Cari Krikorian and Chris Gallardo race in the 1,500m.
The meet comes to conclusion for the Blue Demons after Gabe Vargas, Matthew Holland, Daniel Steinfels, and Z Stein run in the 4x400m relay.
Check back at www.depaulbluedemons.com on Friday and Saturday evening for the latest meet results.