Pair of recent Big Sky Champion throwers honored for success athletically and academically
Junior women’s track and field student-athlete Emma Murillo and senior men’s track and field student-athlete Jon Buchanan have been selected by the Eastern Washington University Athletic Department as the June Scholar-Athletes of the Month, announced Thursday, June 5.
Murillo is a special education major with a 3.61 grade point average after graduating from Southridge High School in Kennewick, Wash., in 2010. Buchanan, a 2009 graduate of East Valley High School in Yakima, Wash., is majoring in management information systems with a 3.25 grade point average.
Coming into the meet ranked outside the top 10, Murillo shocked the Big Sky field, winning the javelin at the conference meet on May 17 with a huge seasonal and personal best of 158-2. That mark was a seasonal improvement by over 20 feet, moving her up to seventh in school history while also cementing her spot in the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at Fayetteville, Ark.
The junior finished 10th in the javelin at the West Preliminaries with a toss of 156-11, earning a trip to the NCAA National Championships in Eugene, Ore., next week on June 11-14.
Murillo also added finishes of fourth in the hammer throw and seventh in discus at the conference meet, respectively. Her personal best of 186-1 in the hammer at Big Sky’s ranks third all-time at Eastern. She also had a lifetime-best throw of 159-11 in the discus earlier in May at the OSU High Performance Meet, a mark that only trails school-record holder Carolee Gutierrez (160-9, 2007).
Murillo added her winning effort in the javelin this season to two other career all-conference performances. She was third in the weight throw indoors and also third in the hammer outdoors in 2013. Her best mark of 59-1 1/4 in the weight throw came in a fourth-place finish indoors in 2014, which ranks third in school history. Academically, she will be named to her sixth Big Sky All-Academic team this spring. She has twice earned United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-America honors (2011, 2013).
Competing in his final conference meet, Buchanan also put together a championship performance, placing first in the shot put with an outdoor best of 57-11 3/4. That mark moved Buchanan up to fourth in school history.
Indoors, Buchanan had two all-conference showings in the shot put and one in the hammer during his career. He helped complete a historic one-two-three Eagle sweep in the men’s weight throw at the Big Sky Championships back in February, taking the third spot behind teammates Jordan Arakawa (65-8 3/4, first) and Zack Nielsen (63-9 1/2, second). It marked just the second time in school history EWU has swept an event since Mike Erickson, Mike Krings and Mike Uhlenkott did so in the pole vault at the 2005 outdoor championships. That throw ranks Buchanan fourth in school history. He wasn’t done there, as Buchanan added second-place finish in the shot put with a lifetime best of 58-5 1/4 to grab the No. 2 spot all-time at Eastern behind school-record holder Chris Benson (59-1 3/4, 1986). Buchanan also finished third in the shot put as a freshman indoors in 2011.
That Eastern trio nearly replicated that indoor feat at the outdoor conference meet, as Buchanan had the third-best mark behind eventual champion Nielsen (203-5) and runner-up Arakawa (202-11) in the hammer competition with one throw remaining in finals. Montana State’s Sean Ferriter launched a throw of 197-8 on his last attempt, bumping Buchanan into fourth and breaking up the sweep bid for Eastern. Buchanan’s personal best of 196-6 in the competition did move him to seventh all-time at Eastern however.
He advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in both the shot put and hammer and capped his career by improving on both of his previous rankings. Buchanan was 21st in the shot put (57-2 1/4) and 40th in the hammer (183-10), moving up from his rankings of 31st and 46th heading into the meet.
Academically, Buchanan will be named to his third Big Sky All-Academic team this spring.
June – Emma
Murillo (Women’s Track & Field)
and Jon Buchanan (Men’s Track
May – Olivia Midles (Women’s Track & Field) and Zack Nielsen (Men’s Track & Field)
April – Keisa Monterola (Women's Track & Field) and Jordan Arakawa (Men's Track & Field)
March – Hayley Hodgins (Women's Basketball) and Venky Jois (Men's Basketball)
February – Lexie Nelson (Women's Basketball) and Tyler Harvey (Men's Basketball)
January – Aubrey Ashenfelter (Women’s Basketball) and Ashton Miller (Football)
December – Allie Schumacher (Volleyball) and Cooper Kupp (Football)
November – Katie Mahoney (Women’s Cross Country) and Ronnie Hamlin (Football)
October – Cassie Black (Women’s Soccer) and Ashton Clark (Football)