Feb. 17, 2012
For immediate release

Former DePaul standout keeps lowering personal best with Sacramento Running Association’s Elite Team

So far, Mary Cate Quiett’s decision to head West looks like a pretty good one.

In just two months since moving to Davis from Chicago, the former DePaul University standout has lowered her personal best twice and made herself right at home despite never before having been to California.

Quiett, a member of the Sacramento Running Association’s Elite Team, hit town with a personal best of 2:05.92 in the 800 meters. She then ran 2:05.2 at the University of Washington Invitational three weeks ago before returning to Seattle for a 2:04.91 effort in the Husky Classic last Saturday.

Her efforts have earned her a spot in the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, set for Feb. 25-26 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Not bad for someone who finished her student teaching in November and moved to Davis in mid-December with her boyfriend, Reid Gustafson, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in agricultural chemistry at UC Davis.

“It’s been a lot easier than I thought it would be,” the 23-year-old Quiett said of the move. “With all that’s going on, it’s hard to have consistent training.

“I have never been to California before. It’s been so great. I love being in Davis.”

Especially after those long, cold Midwestern winters. Quiett, an Indiana native, is used to those bone-chilling experiences, but not to training outdoors in sunshine and relative warmth in January and February.

“The weather has been really great,” she said. “I can handle the 60-degree days.”

Quiett said she also appreciates the support shown by UC Davis coaches.

“They let me use the track whenever I need to,” she said. “That’s been nice.”

Quiett, who holds eight DePaul track records, is a four-time Academic All-American. She won the 800 meters at the 2010 Big East Conference Indoor Championships and placed 10th in the 800 at the 2010 USA Indoor Championships.

She said she misses her DePaul teammates and coaches, although she’s still working with Blue Demons assistant Andrew Craycraft, her personal coach.

“It feels kind of strange to be in a college town,” said Quiett, who also ran cross country for DePaul. “I definitely do miss my team.

“DePaul was absolutely wonderful … I loved my experience there. I loved my teammates. I loved my coaches. You could tell they (coaches) loved what they were doing.”

Quiett loves what she’s doing, too, and hopes her passion for track helps her land a spot in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, set for June 22-July 1 in Eugene, Ore.

She’s already attained the 800-meter ‘B’ qualifying standard of 2:05.90 but can assure herself a spot in the field by meeting the ‘A’ standard of 2:01.30.

“The Olympic Trials are definitely the focus, and to be competitive at the Trials,” said Quiett, the Indiana high school 800-meter state champion in 2007.

To help get to Eugene, Quiett is using visualization and meditation to help maximize her potential in a very tactical event.

“The 800 is really about getting yourself in the right position so when it’s time to make that ‘go’ move, you’re not boxed in,” she said.

“I think the tactics is one of the things I’m most comfortable with. I think it (the 800) really is the most tactical race. You’re sharing lanes pretty much the whole time.”

Quiett, who is working as a tutor while gearing up for a run at the Trials, loves Scrabble and working on crafts in her spare time.

“Whatever I do, I want to do it well,” she said. “I love teaching. I love tutoring.”

And she loves running fast.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Sacramento Running Association events include the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 1, the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon on October 28, the California International Marathon on December 2 and the recently concluded Super Bowl Sunday 10K Run.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.