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Fraser Captures BIG EAST Javelin Title

VILLANOVA, Pa. Melissa Fraser won the women’s javelin throw title as the DePaul women’s and men’s track and field teams opened the 2008 BIG EAST Conference Outdoor Championships on Saturday.  The Blue Demons broke two school records while adding a pair of new NCAA Regional Championship qualifying marks at Villanova’s Jumbo Elliott Track.

Fraser became DePaul’s first-ever female BIG EAST individual champion when she threw the javelin 47.16m.  The Blue Demon freshman topped a field of 16 throwers with her seventh mark of the season greater than the NCAA Regional standard of 43.45m.

The women’s 800m run preliminaries saw Mary Cate Quiett shatter her own DePaul record as she placed first.  She clocked a time of 2:08.35 to bury her previous best mark of 2:10.24.  In addition, she satisfied the NCAA Regional qualifying standard of 2:09.80.  Allyson Petersen also raced in the 800m trials as she placed 11th overall with a time of 2:14.77.  Quiett returns for Sunday’s finals at 12:15 p.m. (EST).

Brad Millar broke his own DePaul record in the men’s javelin throw when he posted a mark of 61.67m.  The sophomore from Port Elgin, Ontario placed fourth in the event while exceeding the NCAA Regional standard of 61.60m for the first time this season.  Millar returns on Sunday for the men’s hammer throw at noon.

The sprinting preliminaries saw Stephanie Williams earn a pair of tickets to Sunday’s finals.  Williams placed eighth in the women’s 100m dash with a time of 11.94 before she finished seventh in the 200m dash with a time of 24.28.  The Blue Demon junior enters the 100m finals at 12:15 p.m. before racing in the 200m finals at 1 p.m.

Claire Duck placed sixth in the women’s 1,500m preliminaries with a personal-best time of 4:28.00.  The senior from Northallerton, England contends in Sunday’s final heat at 11:30 a.m.  Patrick Smith also notched a personal-best performance on Saturday in the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 53.68.  The Blue Demon junior shattered his previous personal-best of 55.69 by more than two seconds.

Joe Strawder earned fifth place in the men’s long jump as he cleared 7.28m for his second-best performance of the season.  Strawder returns on Sunday in the men’s triple jump at 12:30 p.m.

Sunday’s final events also place the Blue Demons in the women’s and men’s 4x100m relays, women’s 3,200m relay, women’s and men’s hammer throw and women’s triple jump.

Through eight scored events, DePaul holds 10th place in the men’s standings with nine points and 15th place in the women’s standings with 10 points.  Notre Dame tops the men’s field with 58 points, while Louisville leads all women’s teams with 51 points.

For live results and video of Sunday’s events, please visit BIG EAST Championship Central.