Brad Michael and Alyssa Neal each become double qualifiers
The Eastern Washington University track and field team grabbed four more Big Sky Qualifying marks at the Idaho Collegiate Friday (Feb. 15) and Idaho Open (Feb. 16) in Moscow, Idaho.
“The meet had more of an individual emphasis and those who went down were able to go after some great performances,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr.
“I had hoped we would get a few more qualifying marks than we did, but it is what it is,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg, “The Big Sky is getting competitive and our athletes will need to step up and get some big marks.”
In Friday’s action, freshman Alyssa Neal highlighted the Eagles’ weekend in Idaho, hitting Big Sky qualifying marks in both the long jump and triple jump. She had a mark of 18-5 1/4 in the long jump, now ranking her eighth in school history. Neal had a triple jump of 37-10 1/2, moving her from ninth to sixth all-time at Eastern.
“Alyssa had a great meet and we really needed that from her,” said Mecklenburg, “Those events are wide open in the conference and for her to be in the running as a freshman is outstanding.”
Sophomore Brad Michael qualified in his second event on the season, running a time of 21.91 in the 200 meters to place second overall.
“Brad had a really good day and he’s shown that he’s physically and mentally prepared for the conference meet,” said Kerr, “He’s in a great position to make a statement there.”
In the women’s weight throw, Emma Murillo qualified for the BSC Championships with a toss of 55-9 3/4, moving her up to sixth all-time in school history. Olivia Midles had a personal-best throw of 53-4 1/4 to move her up a spot on the top ten list, now ranking ninth. She also came just short of hitting the qualifying standard of 53-9.
“Emma has been flirting with that qualifying mark all year so it was long overdue,” said Mecklenburg, “It’s always a lot easier going into the conference meet knowing you qualified and not having to sweat out getting into the top 16.”
Cody Humphrey had a personal best of 51-7 in the shot put to place second, coming up a couple inches short of the qualifying mark of 51-10.
Zack Nielsen had a personal best in the weight throw at the Idaho Open, getting off a toss of 61-0 to move him up to fourth all-time at Eastern.
“Zack has been gunning towards that 60-foot plateau and hats off to him for a great performance,” said Kerr.
The Eagles closed the regular season with a total of 27 qualifying marks, including 17 for the men and 10 for the women. Athletes either in the top 16 on the conference lists or on the bubble will await results from around the conference this weekend to learn their fate. They will head to Bozeman, Mont., next week for the Big Sky Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23.
“We have a history of doing well at the Big Sky Championships and improving on our marks,” said Mecklenburg, “I am expecting that to happen once again this year.”