Eagles look to add more Big Sky qualifiers in second-to-last meet prior to the Conference Championships
The Eastern Washington University track and field team will head
over to Seattle, Wash., for the third time this season as they
compete at the UW Husky Classic Friday and Saturday (Feb. 8-9) at
the Dempsey Indoor.
“The quality of the Husky Classic is top grade,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr, “All the events will be very stacked and it will be an exciting meet to watch.”
The Husky Classic is the most prestigious of the meets the University of Washington hosts as its fields are limited to only Division I competitors. The meet features several high-end programs from big name conferences around the nation. It will also give the Eagles a glimpse at several Big Sky conference schools, with Sacramento State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Southern Utah and Weber State each attending.
“This will be our first chance to see some of the other powerhouses in the conference,” said Kerr, “We’re looking at Sacramento State particularly in the sprints and throws.”
With the Big Sky Championships fast approaching, many Eagles will look to hit a qualifying mark or cement themselves among the top 14 on the conference performance list.
“We’re looking to add some depth in all of our event areas,” said Kerr, “We are missing a few key athletes this season, but many others have the ability to carry their weight.”
Trying to solidify themselves on the performance list will be the men’s 4x400 relay, which has yet to register a time on the season after being disqualified at the Montana State Open on Jan. 25. That team will consist of Nick Olsson, Collin Green, Michael Okoro and Brad Michael.
In a national standpoint, there are currently six Eastern
athletes who sit among the top 100 in the country in their events,
including Vince Hamilton (28th 5,000
meters), Keisa Monterola (T-49th Pole Vault),
Robin Taylor (T-49th Pole Vault), Anandae
Clark (T-86th Pole Vault), Vania Tauvela
(92nd Weight Throw) and Zack Nielsen (99th Weight
Throw). Each of those athletes will be in competition this
“Anytime we can have someone at that national level is a plus for Eastern Washington,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg, “It’s an added exposure for the athletic department as well as the university.”
The meet will be the second-to-last opportunity for Eastern athletes to hit qualifying marks for the BSC Championships in Bozeman, Mont., on Feb. 22-23. The Eagles have acquired 19 total marks on the season with 14 for the men and five for the women.
The Classic kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. and competition will
resume Saturday at 8 a.m. The meet will be covered live by Flotrack
“Heading into the last two meets, we want to solidify spots on the conference list and get a few more conference qualifiers or top 14 marks,” said Mecklenburg.
Big Sky Championships – Feb. 22-23 – Bozeman,
NCAA Championships – Mar. 8-9 – Fayetteville, Ark.
School Records Broken: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 14 (New: Three; Michael 400, Buchanan WT, Clizbe LJ)
Marlyn Anderson – Shot Put – 54-3
3/4 – Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS ’09)
Zack Nielsen – Weight Throw – 59-9 – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’09)
Jordan Arakawa – Weight Throw – 58-6 1/2 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Michael Okoro – 400 meters – 48.98 – Lakewood, Wash. (Clover Park HS ’10)
Michael Okoro – 200 meters – 21.96 – Lakewood, Wash. (Clover Park HS ’10)
Nick Stearns – Pole Vault – 15-5 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Cody Fishel – High Jump – 6-6 3/4 – Covington, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’09)
Thomas Kassa – High Jump – 6-6 3/4 – Anacortes, Wash. (Anacortes HS ’10)
Vince Hamilton – 5,000 meters – 14:24.52 – Spokane, Wash. (North Central HS ‘11/ Boise State)
Chris Schroll – 5,000 meters – 14:55.10 – Puyallup, Wash. (Emerald Ridge HS ‘10/ UNC-Pembroke)
Jon Buchanan – Shot Put – 53-6 1/2 – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Brad Michael – 400 meters – 48.53 – Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’11)
Jon Buchanan – Weight Throw – 56-1 1/4 – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Jake Clizbe – Long Jump – 22-9 3/4 – Kalama, Wash. (Kalama HS ’12)
Big Sky Championships – Feb. 22-23 – Bozeman,
NCAA Championships – Mar. 8-9 – Fayetteville, Ark.
School Records Broken: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: Five
Keisa Monterola – Pole Vault – 12-9
1/2 – Caracus, Venezuela (Licro Caracas HS ‘06/
Anandae Clark – Pole Vault – 12-6 1/4 – Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside HS ’12)
Robin Taylor – Pole Vault – 12-9 1/2 – Blaine, Wash. (Blaine HS ’10)
Vania Tauvela – Weight Throw – 58-8 1/2– Orting, Wash. (Orting HS ’09)
Elise Jepsen – High Jump – 5-5 – Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin HS ’09)
RETURNING ALL-BIG SKY ATHLETES
The following Eagle athletes have earned All-Big Sky Conference honors (top three finish) in previous Big Sky Conference track and field championships (indoors and outdoors):
Jonathan Buchanan – (2011 Indoors: 3rd in
Brad Michael – (2012 Outdoors: 3rd in 400; 2012 Indoors: 2nd in 400, 3rd in 200)
Zack Nielsen – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in weight throw)
Michael Okoro (2011 Outdoors: Champion in 200)
Phillip Puccino – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in triple jump)
Nick Stearns – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in pole vault)
Brad Wall – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in 400; 2011 Outdoors: Champion in 400; 2011 Indoors: Champion in 400; 2010 Outdoors: Champion in 400)
Steven Warner (2012 Outdoors: 3rd in 110 hurdles; 2012 Indoors: Champion in 60 hurdles)
4x400 Relay (2011 Outdoors: 3rd/Michael Okoro, Kramer Green, Collin Green, Brad Wall; 2012 Indoors: Champion/Collin Green, Michael Okoro, Brad Michael, Brad Wall)
4x100 Relay (2011 Outdoors: 2nd/Alex Flores, Michael Okoro, Kurt Williams, Brad Wall)
Michelle Coombs – (2012 Outdoors: 2nd in
Javelin; 2009 Outdoors: Champion in Javelin)
Keisa Monterola - (2012 Outdoors: Champion in pole vault; 2012 Indoors: Champion in pole vault)
Olivia Midles – (2011 Outdoors: 2nd in hammer throw)
Brianna Okoro - (2011 Outdoors: 3rd in long jump; 2010 Outdoors: Champion in 200, 3rd in 100, 3rd in long jump)
Robin Taylor – (2012 Outdoors: 2nd in pole vault)
Elise Jepsen – (2012 Outdoors: 3rd in high jump)
4x400 Relay – (2012 Indoors: 2nd/Whitney Leavitt, Nicole Nida, Angelica Rodriguez, Chelsea Lawhead)
Conference Preseason Polls
Voting is calculated with each team receiving 11 points for a first place vote, 10 points for a second place vote, etc. Coaches are allowed to vote for their respective teams. Below are the final results with the number of first place votes in parenthesis.
Northern Arizona, 119 – nine first-place votes
Montana State, 97 – two first-place votes
Sacramento State, 93
Weber State, 88
Eastern Washington, 78
Southern Utah, 65
Idaho State, 64
North Dakota, 25
Northern Colorado, 24
Portland State, 20
Weber State, 114 – five first-place votes
Sacramento State, 113 – six first-place votes
Northern Arizona, 85
Portland State, 75
Southern Utah, 72
Montana State, 65
Idaho State, 55
Eastern Washington, 39
North Dakota, 22
Northern Colorado, 21
TOP SEASON PERFORMANCES
Michael Okoro- Sprints - Lakewood, Wash.
(Clover Park HS ’10)
Okoro won the 400 meters at the UW Indoor Preview, clocking a time of 48.98 to qualify for the Big Sky Championships. He grabbed his second qualifying mark of the season at the Montana State Open, placing first in the 200 meters with a time of 21.89.
Marlyn Anderson – Throws –
Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS ’09)
Anderson has steadily improved in the shot put at each meet, going from a throw of 52-8 3/4 at the Candy Cane Invite, to a toss of 53-7 1/2 at the UW Invitational and most recently getting a personal-best of 54-3 1/4 at the Vandal Indoor.
Zack Nielsen – Throws – Renton,
Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’09)
Nielsen had a personal-best toss of 59-9 in the weight throw at the Vandal Collegiate, moving him up the all-time list at Eastern from seventh to fifth. That mark also currently ranks Nielsen 99th in the nation Last season, he placed third at the BSC Championships with a throw of 59-7.
Jordan Arakawa – Throws – Olympia,
Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Arakawa hit the qualifying standard in the weight throw at the Candy Cane Invite, getting a throw of 55-11 3/4 off. He improved on that mark at the UW Invitational with a toss of 58-6 1/2.
Jon Buchanan – Throws – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Buchanan reached a Big Sky qualifying mark in the shot put at the UW Invitational, hitting a mark of 53-0. He improved on that mark at the Vandal Indoor with a throw of 53-6 1/2. He also qualified in a second event, the weight throw, getting off a toss of 56-1 1/4. He was third in the shot put at the 2011 BSC Indoor Championships.
Cody Fishel – Jumps – Covington, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’09)
Fishel qualified for the Championships in the high jump, clearing the bar at 6-6 3/4 in a winning effort at the Montana State Open. He also won the event at the Vandal Indoor, equaling his season-best mark.
Nick Stearns – Pole Vault – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Stearns qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the pole vault, clearing a height of 15-5 at the Montana State Open. He cleared the third-highest height in school history last year (15-11) in his third-place effort at the BSC Indoor Championships last season.
Vince Hamilton – Distance – Spokane, Wash. (North Central HS ‘10/ Boise State)
In qualifying for the 5,000 meters, Hamilton ran the fourth-fastest time in school history at the UW Invitational, crossing the line at 14:24.52. That time ranks Hamilton 28th in the nation and also cross-qualified him for the 3,000 meters at the Big Sky Championships.
Chris Schroll – Distance – Puyallup, Wash. (Emerald Ridge HS ‘10/ UNC-Pembroke)
Schroll ran a time of 14:55.10 in the 5,000 meters at the UW Invitational, qualifying him for the Championships and earning him the 10th spot all-time at Eastern. That also qualifies him for the 3,000 meters at the conference meet.
Brad Michael – Sprints – Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’11)
Michael qualified for the Championships in the 400 meters at the Vandal Indoor, taking second with a time of 48.53. He was second at the 2012 BSC Championships, setting a new school record of 46.97 as a freshman.
Jake Clizbe – Jumps – Kalama, Wash. (Kalama HS ’12)
Clizbe hit a qualifying mark in the long jump, taking first at the Vandal Collegiate with a jump of 22-9 3/4.
Women’s 4x400 Relay (Whitney Leavitt, Martha Sanford, Leiran Cornish and Angelica Rodriguez)
The 4x400 relay ran a time of 3:50.12 at the Montana State Open, ranking them second all-time in school history. That time also currently puts them second on the conference list.
Vania Tauvela – Throws – Orting,
Wash. (Orting HS ’09)
Tauvela moved up the record books in the weight throw, getting off a throw of 58-8 1/2 at the UW Invitational to rank third all-time at Eastern. That mark currently ranks 92nd in the nation. She hit the qualifying mark a few weeks earlier at the UW Indoor Preview.
Keisa Monterola – Pole Vault – Caracas, Venezuela (Licro-Caracas HS ’06/Clackamas CC)
The returning Big Sky Champion in the pole vault both indoors and outdoors last year hit the qualifying mark and grabbed the top spot in the conference early, clearing 12-9 1/2 at the Candy Cane Invite. That mark ties her for 49th in the nation. The Venezuelan national record holder broke both of Eastern’s school records last season and was an NCAA All-American indoors.
Robin Taylor – Pole Vault – Blaine, Wash. (Blaine HS ’10)
Taylor cleared an indoor personal-best height of 12-9 1/2 in the pole vault at the at the Vandal Indoor, moving her up to third all-time in school history. That mark puts Taylor in a three-way tie atop the conference list with teammate Keisa Monterola and Idaho State’s Caitlin Maulin. It also puts Taylor in a tie for the 49th best mark in the nation.
Anandae Clark – Pole Vault – Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside HS ’12)
Clark had a jump of 12-6 1/4 in the pole vault at the UW Indoor Preview to place first overall at the meet. That mark ranks Clark sixth all-time at Eastern and also currently puts her in a tie for 86th in the nation.
Elise Jepsen – Jumps – Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin HS ’09)
Jepsen hit the qualifying standard in the high jump with a mark of 5-5 at the Montana State Open. She was third at the 2012 BSC Outdoor Championships in that event.
Katie Mahoney – Distance – Richland, Wash. (Richland HS ’11)
Mahoney has cemented herself among the top ten all-time at Eastern in three different distance events during the 2013 indoor season. She ran 10:17.46 in the 3,000 meters at the UW Indoor Preview to move up to sixth all-time in school history. At the UW Invitational, she ran a time of 5:01.48 in the mile, solidifying her No. 4 all-time spot and inching her closer to No. 3 all-time (5:01.34). Mahoney grabbed the tenth spot all-time in the 800 meters, crossing the line in 2:18.38 at the Vandal Indoor.
Alyssa Neal – Jumps – Salem, Ore. (North Salem HS ’12)
Neal had a triple jump of 37-1 1/4 at the Vandal Collegiate, moving her into the ninth top-ten list all-time at Eastern and just missing the Big Sky qualifying mark of 37-8 3/4.
EWU Track and Field - http://goeags.com/sports/c-track/index
Big Sky Indoor Track and Field - http://www.bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?path=itf&
NCAA Track and Field - http://www.ncaa.com
Big Sky Direct Athletics Performance List - http://www.directathletics.com/leagues/track/63.html