Track and Field Teams Look Forward to C-USA Championships
CHICAGO – The DePaul track and field teams travel to Louisville, Ky., for the annual Conference USA Championships this weekend. The three-day meet starts on Thursday with the heptathlon at 10 a.m. and finishes on Saturday with the 4x400-meter relay events.
Jarrod Jahnke looks to defend his C-USA title in the men’s hammer throw and continue DePaul’s hold of the event. A year ago in Charlotte, Jahnke won the event with a distance of 56.01 meters. A DePaul student-athlete has won the hammer throw championship in each of the last four years. Former All-American, and current assistant coach, Carey Ryan won the event in 2000, 2001 and 2002 before Jahnke’s 2003 title.
Other names to watch for the men’s team included Rick Britton, Rashard Deleston and Larry Inanga. Britton hold the top times for the Blue Demons in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter events while Deleston is DePaul’s top jumper. Inanga leads the sprinters in the 200 and 400-meter dashes.
On the women’s side, Erin Moffett and Leah Rygh return to the C-USA meet for the Blue Demons. A year ago, the duo combined for four top five finishes at the league championships. Moffett placed second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and fifth in the 5,000 meters while Rygh was third in the 800 meters and fourth in the 1,500-meter run. Moffett is favored to win this year’s steeplechase title as she holds the league’s best time entering the 2004 meet.
Other women’s athletes to watch include sprinters Dee Moore and Diana Runnels. Moore leads DePaul in the 100 and 200-meter events while Runnels is a school recordholder and C-USA finalist a year ago in the 400-meter dash. Tammy Burris, Jamie Holifield and Jeana LeRoy lead the throwers this weekend in the shot put, discus and hammer events.
Two-time defending men’s champion TCU will try to make it three straight titles while USF aims for the second overall championship on the women’s side. Last year in Charlotte, the DePaul women’s team finished in a tie for eighth place while the men’s team was 10th overall.
Moffett Named C-USA Athlete of the Week: DePaul senior Erin Moffett picked up Conference USA Athlete of the Week honors following her record-breaking performance at the Penn Relays. She broke her own school record for the second time this season in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase on April 22. Her personal-best time of 10:29.22 broke the mark she set to open the outdoor season of 10:31.92 at the Raleigh Relays. She shared the weekly honor with USF’s Megan Malone.
Updating the Recordbook: In the first meet of the outdoor season, a pair of school records fell at the Raleigh Relays. Erin Moffett broke her own school record in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase while the sprint medley relay squad shattered the former school mark.
Moffett posted a time of 10:31.92 in the steeplechase to better her former best of 10:33.05 set last year. The relay team of Dee Moore, Marissa Petersen, Diana Runnels and Leah Rygh set a new record of 4:00.07 breaking the old record of 4:05.08.
At the Notre Dame Spring Opener, Moffett posted her second school record in the women’s 3000-meter run. She broke the former mark of 9:59.20 set by Alison Grossett in 1992. Moffett’s ran the event in 9:56.76.
On April 22 at the Penn Relays, Moffett set the steeplechase record for the second time this season with a personal-best time of 10:29.22. She placed seventh overall in the championship heat.
NCAA Regional Qualifiers: Three Blue Demons have qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional. Larry Inanga qualified in the 400-meter dash, Jarrod Jahnke in the men’s hammer throw and Erin Moffett in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The NCAA Mideast Regional is the qualifying meet for the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas. The top three finishers in each event at the respective regional sites move on the NCAA Championship, June 9-12. The Mideast Regional will be held May 28-29 in Baton Rouge, La.
Name, Event – Time/Distance (NCAA Qualifying Mark)
Looking Ahead: Those that qualify for the NCAA Regional travel to Baton Rouge, La. at the end of May. The NCAA meet takes place at LSU, May 28-29 with the top performers moving on to the NCAA Championships, June 9-12, in Austin, Texas.