Blue Demons Open Season in Strong Fashion
CHICAGO - The DePaul cross country teams opened their 2009 campaigns with the second annual DePaul Opener at Channel Runne Park in Lincolnwood, Ill. Matthew Graham and Jakub Kolacz led the men's squad with first and third-place finishes while Toni Salvatore led the women's team with a 12th-place showing.
Graham improved on his third-place finish as a freshman by opening his sophomore season as the leader of the pack around the 4-mile course at Channel Runne Park. His time of 19:34.07 nearly a half-minute ahead of second-place finisher Nick Szczech of Marquette and DePaul teammate Kolacz. Szczech ran the course in 20:00.82 just ahead of Kolacz's time of 20:03.16.
Luke Rygh finished in 17th place while Greg Udzielak was 23rd, Brian Begalke finished 24th and Max Clink was the 26th runner to cross the finish line.
Salvatore completed the 4k course in 15:07.60 as the top DePaul finisher. She was immediately followed by Mary Cate Quiett in 13th place and Stephanie Hughes in the 14th spot. Quiett finished in 15:09.01 just ahead of Hughes' time of 15:13.53.
Four other DePaul runners finished in the top 30 led by Kelly Pickering in 21st. She was followed by Terah Cheatham in 23rd, Stacy Schmitz in 27th and Claire O'Brien in 29th.
Marquette took the top three spots in the women's race with Jayne Grebinski leading the way in an afternoon-best time of 14:28.51.
The Marquette men's team posted the top team score with 36 points while Loyola-Chicago was second at 41 and the Blue Demons compiled 55 points. On the women's side, the Golden Eagles used the top three finishers for a team-best 18 points ahead of Loyola-Chicago with 61 points, Northwestern with 69 points and DePaul with 79 points.
Up next for the Blue Demons is the Bradley Open on Friday, Sept. 11. The meet takes place at Detweiller Golf Course in Peoria, Ill. starting at 5:30 p.m.