Three seniors compete in final meet for Eastern
Although the Eastern Washington University track and field team didn’t have any NCAA Division I Championship qualifiers, it still saw a number of strong marks in the team’s final competition of the season at the West Region Preliminary Championships in Austin, Texas, Friday and Saturday (24-25).
“The group that came down performed at a very respectable level, but the outcome was certainly not what we wanted,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “However, the coaches are proud of the seniors and everyone who made it down here.”
In order to qualify for the national meet, which will be held on June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore., athletes needed to place in the top-12 in their event.
Katie Mahoney concluded her stellar outdoor season with another school record-breaking performance in the 3,000 steeplechase, running a time of 10:21.53 to place 21st overall and first among freshmen in the event.
“That was very impressive of Katie to do what she did at this level of a meet,” said head women's coach Mecklenburg. “We’re very excited for her future.”
Jordan Arakawa had a mark of 201-11 in the hammer throw to place 21st overall.
“Jordan knows he has more in him but there was certainly some difficult circumstances for that event with the heavy rain,” said Kerr. “At a meet of this magnitude we would’ve preferred some better conditions. His career is far from over though and he’ll be back at it next year and ready to get to the next level.”
Cora Kellerman came the closest to punching a ticket to Eugene, placing 19th in the javelin with a throw of 149-4, her second-best mark of the season.
Also competing in the women’s javelin for Eastern was senior Michelle Coombs and sophomore Emma Murillo. Coombs closed her career with a distance of 145-11. Murillo finished 43 overall with a toss of 131-0.
“I know Cora and Michelle didn’t throw as far as they wanted,” said Mecklenburg, “but if you look at the whole season and the performances they had they accomplished a lot of great things and should be proud of that.”
Junior Robin Taylor cleared a height of 12-8 in the pole vault to tie for 22nd. Keisa Monterola entered the competition with the bar at 12-2, but was unable to clear it.
Senior Marlyn Anderson competed in his final meet for the Eagles and got off a throw of 51-7 1/4 in the shot put, placing 43rd.
“Marlyn has been battling a hand injury and went in and competed hard,” said Kerr. “He will certainly be missed by this program.”
Joey Payne, a true freshman, had a toss of 193-7 in the javelin to place 38th.
According to Kerr and Mecklenburg, significant amounts of rain and lightning caused a number of delays as well as sloppy conditions in the meet.
“Those who will be returning for us next year are leaving the meet more determined to move on to the next level and will come back look to do big things next year,” said Mecklenburg.
“The morale and attitude of the group we brought down was very commendable,” said Kerr. “Although we didn’t reach our goal this year, we’ll gear up and look to do so next year.”