EWU Women hit eight qualifying standards, Men with seven
The Eastern Washington University track and field team opened up the outdoor season by attaining 15 Big Sky Conference qualifying marks at the Dusty Lane Open Saturday (March 16) in Spokane, Wash.
“We knew we had a strong outdoor team,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg, “So getting that number of marks early on is a good indicator of us having a pretty good crew.”
“I thought it was a great outdoor opening for both sides,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “We had a great balance getting qualifying marks in multiple events.”
On the women’s side, an event highlighting the day for the Eagles was the javelin, in which four athletes hit qualifying standards. Michelle Coombs (146-5), Cora Kellerman (143-5), Kacie Seims (137-3) and Emma Murillo (134-10) each booked their tickets for the Big Sky Outdoor Championships.
“The throwers got off to a really good start and I’m real pleased with that,” said Mecklenburg.
Freshman Anandae Clark had a mark of 12-3 1/2 in the pole vault, qualifying her for conference and moving her into sixth all-time in school history.
Senior Elise Jepsen cleared the conference qualifying height of 5-5 in the high jump, placing second.
Olivia Midles grabbed a qualifying mark in the hammer throw, getting off a toss of 165-10.
Murillo qualified in a second event as well, throwing the discus 141-8.
“A number of athletes had an excellent meet,” said Mecklenburg. “Even the ones who didn’t qualify had some great marks.”
On the men’s side, senior Brad Wall, who ran in his first meet for the Eagles in over a year, won the 400 with a Big Sky qualifying time of 47.95.
“Brad was heads and tails one of the bright spots of the meet for us,” said Kerr. “That was an outstanding opener for him.”
Junior Steven Warner qualified in the 110 hurdles, winning the event in a time of 14.74.
Kramer Green hit the qualifying standard in the 400 hurdles, running 54.85 to place second.
Freshman Joey Payne got off a throw of 205-9 in the javelin to earn a bid to the conference meet.
“To qualify in your very first collegiate meet is remarkable and I don’t think Joey knows how rare that is,” said Kerr.
Jordan Arakawa had a personal-best throw of 196-8 in the hammer to qualify for the BSC Championships.
Senior Marlyn Anderson earned a qualifying standard in the shot put, hitting an outdoor personal-best mark of 54-4 3/4.
Last but not least, sophomore Nick Stearns cleared 15-5 in the pole vault to also qualify.
Eastern will take the spring break off and return to competition full strength at the Al Manuel Invitational on March 29-30.
“Coach Mecklenbug and I were really happy with the outcome of the performances today,” said Kerr. “For those who qualified, it really gives us a lot of freedom in terms of training and strategies. For the others, it will still set everyone up for a solid outdoor season.”