Cross Country and Track & Field Sign Six to a National Letter of Intent
CHICAGO - The DePaul men's and women's cross country and track and field programs will get an extra boost to an already successful group of student-athletes next fall, as Elizabeth Jefferson, Luke Junk, Edward McDaniel, Alexandra Muller, Ian Sanchez and Elena Sanz have all signed National Letters of Intent, it was announced today by head coach Patrick J. Savage.
"We are very pleased to be welcoming in this new class of student-athletes." commented Coach Savage, "They all are extremely talented, and posses a strong work ethic. We expect great things from them next season."
The six newcomers join an established Blue Demon squad that already touts two BIG EAST Conference Champions this season, as well as five BIG EAST Athlete of the Week award winners. DePaul continues to cruise through the regular-season, traveling to West Lafayette, Ind. on April 2-3 for the Mike Poehlein Invitational.
Jefferson earned All-State accolades following a third-place finish behind a personal-record 400m time of 56.80 at the 2009 Class 4A Colorado State Championship. In addition to running for Valor Christian, she is an accomplished runner for the ATS Elite Track & Field Club. On the indoor club circuit, Jefferson placed second at the New Mexico Indoor State Championship, while winning the 400m.
Coach Savage on Jefferson: "Elizabeth will be a fantastic addition to our core group of sprinters. She is already running 200m and 400m times that are competitive collegiately, and she will provide even more depth to our relay squads."
Junk, hailing from Galesburg, Ill., lifted his cross country team to an eighth-place finish last fall, while placing 24th individually. At the end of his junior campaign, Junk anchored the Class 2A State Champion 4x800m relay team, in addition to placing second in the 4x400m relay. Individually, Junk took home a fourth-place finish in the 800m.
Coach Savage on Junk: "Luke will add speed and endurance to both our cross country and track and field programs. He has the potential to run a competitive race at the BIG EAST Conference Championship next fall."
McDaniel earned All-State honors after placing fifth at the 2009 Class 2A Cross Country State Championships. The prior year as a junior he took 13th place. On the track, the Oak Forest, Ill. native helped earn sixth place in the 4x800m relay at the 2009 state meet, lifting the Bengals to a sixth place team finish.
Coach Savage on McDaniel: "Ed can hardly wait to put on Blue Demon uniform and start running for DePaul. He is going to make a positive impact on our program the very first meet he runs."
Muller, the 2009 4x400m North East Ohio Conference Champion, also was the runner-up conference champion in the 800m. She continued on at the state meet, claiming 14th at the Division I Ohio Track and Field State Championships in the 800m. She followed that up with a strong performance at the cross country state meet to lift Brunswick High School to a fourth-place finish.
Coach Savage on Muller: "Alexx is the complete student-athlete, performing well on the track as well as the classroom. In addition to excelling in the middle distance events she has the distance capabilities to run cross country. She will be a fantastic addition to both our track and field and cross country teams."
At the 2009 Class 2A State Track and Field Championship, Sanchez finished the 800m in fifth place, tight on the heels of Junk, to earn team points for Richmond-Burton High School. Prior the state meet, he earned Big Northern Conference titles in the 800m, the mile and the 4x800m relay. The follow year, Sanchez placed 26th at the cross country state meet.
Coach Savage on Sanchez: "Ian is already running the mileage to be a serious threat in cross country next fall. He will also be working to make our list of top runners who will represent the Blue Demons at the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships."
Sanz, a dominant force in cross country and the distance events, led Bentonville High School to a 7A West Conference Cross Country Championship before taking the team title at the state championship. At conference, she was the runner-up champion, and followed that up with an all-state performance at the Arkansas State Cross Country Meet.
Coach Savage on Sanz: "Elena is already running mileage like a college runner and is one of the hardest working individuals, both athletically and academically, that I've come across. I expect her to be in our top five runners on the cross country team next year."