2009-10 Track and Field Slate Unveiled
CHICAGO - The DePaul men's and women's track and field coach, Pat Savage, unveiled the program's 2009-10 schedule today. The Blue Demons return 40 letterwinners from last year's squad, including 13 BIG EAST Conference Championship qualifying student-athletes and all five NCAA Regional qualifiers.
The indoor season opens on Dec. 4, when the team travels to Notre Dame, Ind. for the Blue and Gold Meet. They follow up with seven more meets in preparation for the BIG EAST Indoor Championships, including two more competitions at Notre Dame, and meets at Eastern Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa State.
The 2009-10 conference championship will once again take place at New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in New York City on February 20-21. Last season, Brad Millar and Joe Strawder headlined at the BIG EAST meet as Millar was the runner-up champion in the weight throw, while Strawder took home fifth place in the long jump.
A last-chance meet at the Alex Wilson Invitational on March 5-6 provides the Blue Demons with a final opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championship, to take place on March 12-13 at the University of Arkansas.
DePaul moves outside in March, when they spend back-to-back weekends in North Carolina. On the 19th and 20th, the Blue Demons compete at the 49er Classic, hosted by UNC-Charlotte. The following weekend, Mar. 26-27, they travel to NC State for the Reebok Raleigh Relays.
The men's and women's track and field teams stick a little bit closer to home in the month of April. With the exception of the Sun Angel Track Classic in Tempe, Ariz. on Apr. 9-10, the Blue Demons remain in the Midwest, competing at Purdue, University of Chicago, Drake, and Marquette.
The 2010 BIG EAST Outdoor Championship runs April 30-May 2 and will be hosted by Cincinnati. Leading the way once again for DePaul is Millar, who took home second place in the hammer throw last season after winning the crown during his freshman and sophomore seasons. On the women's side, Alana Kovacs returns after an impressive freshman campaign, recording a fourth place finish in the javelin in addition to a seventh place showing in the discus. Both student-athletes would go on to the NCAA Mideast Regional to earn top-10 finishes. Millar qualified for his first NCAA National Championship after placing fourth in the hammer throw to earn the automatic bid. Kovacs concluded the regional with a seventh place javelin effort.
The Blue Demons host the DePaul Relays at their home facility, Lane Stadium, on Tues. May 11. Lane Stadium was dedicated on May 14, 2008, when the running of the inaugural DePaul Relays celebrated the opening of the new track. It also marks as the first regular-season meet the Blue Demons have hosted in more than 50 years.
Other key returners include Matthew Graham, Mary Cate Quiett, and Melissa Fraser. Graham, who is coming off a historic five-win cross country season, led the Blue Demons last year in the 3,000m steeplechase, including a season-best time of 9:13.50 at the Cardinal Twilight. Quiett eclipse the BIG EAST standard in the 800m 10 times last year, including an indoor school-record time of 2:10.00 and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Outdoor Regional Championship. Fraser enters her junior campaign as a two-time regional qualifier in the javelin throw.
Off the track, both the men's and women's teams have worked diligently in the classroom. While both squads were named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA), the men boasted the highest overall team GPA amongst Division I schools in the entire country. In addition, Quiett, Fraser, and Millar were each individually honored as all-academic team members by the USTFCCCA.
Printable and downloadable schedules are available at www.depaulbluedemons.com.