Millar Wraps DePaul Career on High Note, Earns All-American Status
EUGENE, Ore. – While most seniors at DePaul University are getting ready for this weekend’s graduation, Brad Millar had another thing on his mind: The NCAA Track and Field Championships. While the senior from Port Elgin, Ontario may have to miss his commencement ceremony, he’ll always remember this weekend for different reason – an All-American finish at the NCAA Championships.
Millar becomes just the fourth Blue Demon in track and field program history to earn such a title, joining the likes of three-time All-American Carey Ryan, two-time honoree Dave Dopek, and All-American long jumper Chris Stafford.
“This is a dream and goal that Brad has always had,” beamed head coach Pat Savage. “It really means a lot.
“All the credit goes to Brad and (throws coach) Brandon (Murer),” continued Savage. “Brandon does such a fantastic job at DePaul and I can not say enough good things about him.”
Millar entered the ring on his first attempt and threw the hammer a respectable distance, but not enough to break into the top nine that advance to the finals. Following a foul on the second try, all eyes were on the senior who needed to deliver big if he wanted to continue his historic run.
He did not disappoint, launching a throw of 64.99m to land himself in seventh place. Only the top nine out of 24 student-athletes continued on to the final round.
While he was unable to better that mark, the distance did hold on to the seventh-place position.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Murer said after coaching his first student-athlete to All-American status. “It’s such a fantastic feeling. Brad was one of my first recruits when I came to DePaul, so we’ve been talking about this goal for five years now.
“For it to happen during his senior year, at such a historic place like Hayward Field – it’s just indescribable.
“Brad came here to compete and he showed a lot a maturity today,” continued Murer. “His performance was the perfect way to start the meet, and it really got our other two qualifiers (Alanna Kovacs and Tim Nedow) excited and chomping at the bit to throw tomorrow.”
Kovacs and Nedow get their championship runs underway Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. (CST) in the javelin and shot put, respectively.
Earlier this season, Millar dominated the throwing ring in the BIG EAST Conference arena, taking both the weight and hammer throw titles after entering the league meet as the odds-on favorite. On the outdoor stage, the senior came into the championships with a then-season best throw of 66.13m, nearly nine meters ahead of closest competitor.
Millar has totaled a program-best four BIG EAST titles during his stellar career at DePaul -- the most conference championships by any student-athlete since Ryan captured four Conference USA crowns spanning 2000-02. Only Hall of Fame sprinter Dopek outranks Millar and Ryan, racing his way to 10 Great Midwest Conference titles from 1992-95 (seven individual, three relay).
Off the field, Millar has been collecting just as many accolades for his dedication in the classroom. The three-time BIG EAST All-Academic team member was recently named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-District team for the second-straight season, and is eligible for Academic All-America status. In addition, he is also a two-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honoree.
The 2009-10 season comes to a close tomorrow morning, when Kovacs and Nedow get their turns to compete.
“This is the first NCAA Championship for both of them. It should be an interesting ride tomorrow.”