DePaul Track and Field Opens the Indoor Season at Notre Dame
CHICAGO - The DePaul men's and women's track and field teams kick-off the 2009-10 indoor season with the Blue and Gold Meet on Friday, Dec. 4. Hosted by BIG EAST Conference rival Notre Dame, the meet commences at 4 p.m. (CST) when the field events start inside the Loftus Sports Center. Track events begin at 5 p.m.
An accomplished fleet of jumpers and throwers coupled with the promising talent of this year's newcomers get things started with the long jump and weight throw competition. Joe Strawder, a three-time BIG EAST Conference Indoor Championship qualifier in both the long and triple jumps, makes his first pass in the long jump at 4 p.m. along with Eddie Anderson, Brittany Lewis, Ivy Moffett, and Cynthia Edwards. Anderson, Strawder and Edwards are also slated to participate in the triple jump, which will take place upon the completion of the long jump.
At the same time, seven Blue Demons, led by Brad Millar and Virginia MacFabe, represent DePaul in the weight throw. Millar, a two-time All-BIG EAST weight thrower, hit a career-high 19.64m during the 2009 indoor league championship to place second. Senior MacFabe stars on the women's side, having qualified for the conference meet in all three previous indoor seasons in the event. Freshmen Matt Babicz, Tim Vala and Katelyn MacFabe gear up to make their first throws in a Blue Demon uniform, along with returning student-athletes Alanna Kovacs and James Waller. Babicz, Vala, Waller and Kovacz continue the evening with the shot put, in addition to Jim Theologes and Ebonie Cobb.
While the running events begin at 5 p.m., the first starting gun for DePaul sounds at 5:15 p.m. when Courtney Avvampato, Kelly Pickering and Mary Cate Quiett race in the 1,000m. Quiett broke her own DePaul record in the event last season during Notre Dame's Meyo Invitational with a time of 2:53.36. Max Clink, Chris Gallardo and Tyler Schmitt follow soon after with the men's 1,000m.
Freshman sprinters Brigid Geary, Aforo Okraku, Idia Omagiate, Cameron Bretl, Chris Kyles and sophomore Tristan Stagger test their strides in the 60m dash. Stagger owned the top-three 60m times during the 2008-09 campaign, including a career-best 7.15 clocked at the Grand Valley Holiday Open. The 400m follows, featuring six freshmen, two sophomores, one junior and senior Gilbert Lifton. Lifton enters the year with the best 400m time of all returners, logging a personal-record 49.75 as last year's Notre Dame Indoor Opener.
Middle distance events continue at approximately 5:55 p.m. when Greg Udzielak, Dennis Baliga, Kim Boisvert and Cari Krikorian take to the track for the mile race. Last year, Udzielak shattered his previous personal-record in the mile by more than 20 seconds with a BIG EAST qualifying time of 4:17.26. The 500m and 800m conclude the evening's middle distance competition. Lauren Bales and Laura Wilson make their 2009-10 debut in the 500m, followed by Toni Salvatore, Drew Edwards, Edin Pasalic, Matthew Pietrus and Dan Steinfels in the 800m.
Geary, Okraku, Omogiate, Kyles and Stagger return to the starting blocks for the 200m, as well as Alexandria Dunson, Lewis, and Moffett. Distance specialists Terah Cheatham, Kelsey Dolan, Stephanie Hughes, Jenny Kranc, Claire O'Brien, Stacy Schmitz, Brian Begalke, Matthew Graham and Max Rodrigues finally get their chance to shine as they wrap up the individual competition in the 3,000m.
The 2009 Blue and Gold Meet concludes following the men's and women's 4x400m relay, scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
Friday's meet marks the first of four times the Blue Demons travel to Notre Dame, Ind. during the indoor season. They return for the Notre Dame Indoor Opener (Jan. 15), the Meyo Invitational (Feb. 5-6) and the Alex Wilson Invitational (Mar. 5-6).
Full results and recaps will be available at www.depaulbluedemons.com.