CINCINNATI - After a one-two finish in the women's javelin to start the day, the DePaul men's and women's track and field teams continued to post solid performances at Gettler Stadium during their first day of the BIG EAST Conference Championships. Matthew Graham placed third in the 3,000m steeplechase following a record-setting run, and Alanna Kovacs, Joe Strawder and Tim Nedow placed in the top-five in their events.
Both the men's and the women's teams ended the day in sixth place. The men tallied 20 points, just four behind Cincinnati, and the women are just a point-and-a-half behind Notre Dame with 22.
Graham ran an astonishing 19 seconds faster than his previous personal-best to take third place in the 3,000m steeplechase. The sophomore clocked an 8:51.48 de-thrown DePaul Hall of Fame inductee Jim Fox's 26-year old mark of 8:58.14.
Graham entered the meet as the 11th seed behind a time of 9:10.13.
Joe Strawder scored five points for the men's squad, following a fourth-place showing in the long jump. He surpassed a distance of 7.43m-- the best he has performed this season and just short of his all-time best of 7.44m.
In his four years at the outdoor league championships, the senior has scored points in the long jump for the Blue Demons every season, placing fourth twice, fifth and seventh. Strawder's best performance at a BIG EAST Championship came last February, when he placed second at the indoor league meet.
Strawder continues action tomorrow in the triple jump.
Tim Nedow tied for third in the shot put, but BIG EAST tiebreaker rules landed the sophomore in fourth place. Nedow hit a mark of 17.37m to surpass the 17-meter plateau for the third time during the 2010 campaign.
Matt Babicz and Jim Th