Two Tickets Punched: Nedow and Kovacs Advance to NCAA Championship
AUSTIN, Texas – The DePaul men’s and women’s track and field teams have never sent more than two student-athletes to the NCAA National Championship in a single season.
Today, both Tim Nedow and Alanna Kovacs punched their tickets to the championship round in Eugene, Oregon on June 9-12 after stellar performances at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas.
And it’s only the first day of competition.
Nedow came through in the clutch during both rounds of the shot put on very hot evening in Austin. The sophomore unleashed a throw of 17.52m on his third attempt to catapult himself into 12th place and make the finals.
However, that throw would not hold as Nedow fouled on his next two attempts and fell out of the top-12 who move on to the NCAA Championships. On his final trip to the ring, Nedow stretched the tape to 17.90m – his second-best throw of the season – and move up into eighth place. This will be his first trip to the NCAA Championships for the sophomore, as he becomes the first shot putter to reach the finals since Frank Guzman did so in 2002.
Kovacs was the second Blue Demon of the day to earn a bid to the National Championship. The sophomore, who just barely missed advancing to the finals last season following a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Mideast Regional, placed eighth behind a career-best throw of 50.09m.
Her next event is scheduled for tomorrow at noon (CST), in the women’s discus.
Melissa Fraser, who came into the meet ranked seventh, bowed out in 32nd place. She’ll have her shot at redemption on Saturday afternoon, when she battles in the hammer throw.
Mary Cate Quiett reached another milestone in her decorated career, running her first sub-2:06 800m today in the opening round. With a second-place finish secured in her heat, the junior let off the accelerator in the final meters to clock a 2:05.92. Not only did she place second in her heat, but she also logged the second-fastest time of the day. If she can maintain a position within the top-12, she’ll reach another milestone – her first trip to the NCAA Championship.
Today, Tonderai Tomu concluded a remarkable first season in a Blue Demon uniform, as he finished 37th in the 400m with a time of 47.80. Earlier this year, he placed fourth at the BIG EAST Championship in the quarter mile at both the indoor and outdoor venues.
Wrapping up the day’s action was Joe Strawder. The four-time NCAA postseason qualifier tied for 18th in the long jump with a leap of 7.38m. The senior continues his quest for the championship on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CST) in the triple jump.
DePaul continues its pursuit tomorrow beginning at noon, featuring Kovacs in the discus. Brad Millar enters the hammer throw ring at 3 p.m. On the track, Quiett lines up for the 800m at 6:45 p.m., while Matthew Graham races in the 3,000m steeplechase at 8:30 p.m.
Live video and results are available, while full results and recaps can be found at www.DePaulBlueDemons.com.