Track and Field Adds Accomplished Athletes to Roster
CHICAGO - The DePaul men's track and field team welcomes three sprinters and a thrower to its roster it was announced today by head coach Pat Savage. Over the course of the summer, Cameron Bretl, Ryan Bosman, Matt Babicz and Chris Kyles were signed to a National Letter of Intent.
Savage, who took over the helm of the program three years ago, along with assistant coaches Dave Dopek and Brandon Murer, have been hard at work recruiting the top athletes from across the country.
Nearly a dozen of the newcomers have earned All-State honors, while countless All-Conference and All-Region accolades have been given to the Blue Demon freshman class consisting of over 20 student-athletes.
"We couldn't be more excited for the up-and-coming 2009-10 season," remarked Coach Savage, "The level of talent coming in this yeah is perhaps one of the best recruiting classes in program history. We look forward to making our mark in the BIG EAST Conference, and to continue to make strides on the regional and national levels."
Last season, then-junior Brad Millar made his debut on the national stage at the NCAA Championships. The prior season Melissa Fraser made her mark in Blue Demon history, becoming the first female thrower not only to claim a BIG EAST title, but to advance to the national championship. Millar currently holds two league crowns in the hammer throw.
Regionally, the men's cross country team boasted a program-best No. 14 rank in the Midwest Region. After losing senior Rob Morgan to graduation, DePaul returns seven of its top runners, including Matthew Graham and Jakub Kolacz, while welcoming a promising class of seven freshmen.
After clocking consistent times all season, the women's cross country team return stronger than ever, returning all of its top-five runners. Mary Cate Quiett and Terah Cheatham lead the way, having swapped places as the top Blue Demon finisher all season.
After losing the leadership of eight senior sprinters, including now-graduate assistant coach Stephanie Williams, the men's and women's track and field squads received a boost this year in freshman recruits, adding eight accomplished sprinters to the team. In addition to Bosman, Bretl and Kyles, Corrie Castro, Brigid Geary, Lindsey Holden, Tityona Lowe, Aforo Okraku, and Idia Omogiate were added to the women's track roster.
"We are most excited about this year's recruiting class. On the sprint side of the program we are expecting big things from our incoming student-athletes," boasted Coach Dopek, the sprints coach, "With numerous all-state sprinters coming in this year, we are looking to begin a time of great team success in the sprints and relays. This is certainly the largest and most successful sprint recruiting class in all of the years I have been here." Dopek began his DePaul career in 1991, as a student-athlete. In 1992 he became DePaul's first national champion, after winning the indoor 200m at the NCAA Championship. He transitioned to coaching after graduation.
Bosman hails from Hudson, Ohio and inked his spot into Hudson High School history after playing seventh in the 300m hurdles at OHSAA State Championship. Kyles, a Lane Tech two-sport standout and reigning Chicago Public League Male Athlete of the Year, is expected to contribute in the short sprints, after taking third place finish at the IHSA State Meet in the 100m. Bretel has also experienced success at the state level. The Glendale, Wis. native took the 4x200 Nicolet High School relay team to a forth place finish at the Wisconsin State Meet, while also placing sixth individually in the 200m.
The throwers welcome Babicz to an already strong core of student-athletes that include Millar, Jim Theologes, James Waller, and newcomer Tim Vala. Babicz is a seasoned veteran in the throwing events; he placed third in the discus and finished in fifth while competing in the shot put during the 2009 Illinois State meet. Katie MacFabe was also added to the women's squad earlier this spring.
The men's and women's cross country teams welcomed Courtney Avvampato, Jenny Kranc, Kristen Lafferty, Max Clink, Frank Deaton, Matthew Logan, Cody Phelps, Zak Koronkiewicz, Max Rodrigues, and Tyler Schmitt to their rosters over the summer.
"Our freshman class for the 2009-10 year is not only well-rounded, but extremely talented and competitive," agreed Coaches Savage, Dopek, and Murer.
The 2009 cross country season kicks off on Fri., Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. for the DePaul Opener at Channel Runne Park. Track and field's first meet is schedule for the beginning of December.