Graham and Cheatham Lead Blue Demons at the Regional Championship
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - While the city of Chicago enjoyed a sunny and mild November day, the men's and women's cross country teams battled through scorching heat and humidity at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship at the Missouri State Cross Country Facility. Despite the difficult conditions, both Blue Demon squads persevered and took home 17th place.
Senior Terah Cheatham paced the women's team in the final race of her collegiate career, tallying 75 points for DePaul after crossing the finish line in 85th place with a time of 23:04. Stephanie Hughes added 85 points after clocking a 23:18. After falling behind midway through the race, a late surge from Mary Cate Quiett placed her just two seconds behind Hughes, as she placed 102nd overall.
Claire O'Brien remained relatively unaffected by the heat, completing the course in a time of 23:22, just one second away from her personal-best 6K time set last season. Rounding out the Blue Demon top-five was Kelly Pickering, who placed 118th with a time of 23:49.
Graham continued his dominance on the men's side, and remained with the lead pack for over half the race. Sitting in 26th place in the closing mile, the sophomore kicked it into high gear, and sought to overcome the Iowa runner in front of him. Despite his heroic effort, Graham remained in 26th place with a personal-record time of 31:43, just one second out of an all-regional 25th place finish.
Max Rodrigues was the second DePaul student-athlete to cross the finish line, logging a time of 34:12 for 110th place. Greg Udzielak clocked a time of 34:25 and finished his senior campaign as the only Blue Demon besides Graham to score points in all seven races this season. Brian Begalke lowered his personal-best 10K time to 34:38 to place 122nd while Max Clink finished in the DePaul top-five with a time of 34:49.
Also competing today was Stacy Schmitz and Toni Salvatore, who finished just outside of point-scoring range with times of 24:13 and 25:17, respectively. Frank Deaton completed the men's 10K in a time of 36:06.
The Oklahoma State men advance to the NCAA Championship, winning the regional crown with 50 points. Hassan Mead of Minnesota was named the Midwest Regional Champion after winning the contest in a time of 30:22. The women's team competition was won by Minnesota, while Illinois' Angela Bizzarri broke the tape after completing the race in a time of 20:08.
The DePaul men's and women's cross country teams return to action next fall, when the 2010 season gets underway.
Men's Race Highlights
Track and Field Videos on Flotrack