Four Eastern Athletes Qualify at Last Chance Meet

Troyer, Okoro, Tauvela and Durr each hit conference standards in Idaho

The Eastern Washington University track and field team brought its Big Sky Conference qualifying mark total to 50 on the season after reaching four more standards at the Vandal Jamboree Saturday (May 4) in Moscow, Idaho. It was the Eagles’ last meet prior to the BSC Championships.

“Great things happen when you get some solid weather,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “The fields weren’t very deep either, so hats off to those who were able to go down and compete well without the normal amount of team support. 

For the women, Amber Troyer cleared a personal-best height of 12-1 1/2 in the pole vault, eclipsing the Big Sky qualifying mark. That mark ranks the senior seventh in school history. 

Senior Brianna Okoro had a mark of 18-10 1/2 in the long jump, placing second and booking her ticket to the conference meet.

Vania Tauvela became a double qualifier on the season with a toss of 141-11 in the discus. She is also qualified in the hammer throw.

On the men’s side, freshman Kris Durr leaped a distance of 22-10 1/2 in the long jump, clearing the conference standard.

“Kris made the most of the opportunity to compete and stepped up and had a nice jump,” said Kerr, “that event is pretty wide open so we’re looking for him to be productive at conference.”

Sophomore Nick Stearns reached a personal best in the pole vault with a mark of 16-6 3/4, a mark that moved him into fourth all-time at Eastern. 

“I was thrilled to see Nick go out there and have a breakthrough performance reaching that 16-foot plateau,” said Kerr. “That should really get him tuned up for the Big Sky meet. The bar went up and so did his confidence.” 

Other athletes hitting personal bests in Idaho were Obinna Nnadi (100m, 11.08), Nick Olsson (200m, 22.22), Cody Humphrey (discus, 159-7) and Brooklyn Bellomy (high jump, 5-3). 

The Vandal Jamboree was the last opportunity for Eagles to hit Big Sky standards. They closed the regular season with a total of 50 qualifying marks, with 26 for the women and 24 for the men.

Athletes who were unable to qualify can still reach the conference meet if they manage to maintain position in the top 20 on the performance list. Those on the bubble will await results from around the conference this weekend to learn their fate.

Eastern will head over to Forest Grove, Ore., next week for the 2013 BSC Outdoor Championship, hosted by Portland State University on May 8-11. 

“We have a very talented with a number of individuals looking to place high in their events,” said Kerr. “We’re certainly capable of hitting some big marks and making a splash at the conference meet.”

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