Junior thrower recognized by conference for eighth time in his career
Jordan Arakawa of the Eastern Washington University men’s track and field team was selected as the Big Sky Conference co-men’s field athlete of the week for the week of April 29 after eclipsing 210 feet in the hammer throw for the fourth time of the season at the Duane Hartman Invitational April 25 in Spokane, Wash.
Arakawa launched a throw of 210-1 feet to place first at the Duane Hartman Invitational. He has won the hammer in four of the six meets he’s competed in this season. His teammate Zack Nielsen has placed second behind Arakawa in each of his first-place finishes.
This week Arakawa shares the honors with Montana’s Keith Webber, who cleared a height of 17-2 3/4 in the pole vault at the Cat-Griz Dual on April 26 in Bozeman, Mont. Webber’s mark ranks atop the conference performance list.
This is Arakawa’s seventh Athlete of the Week honor outdoors and eighth of his career. He has now claimed the honors four times during the 2014 outdoor season. It is also the fifth-straight week an Eastern athlete has claimed conference AOTW honors this season, as Katie Mahoney was named women’s track AOTW for the week of April 22.
Arakawa earned his previous three AOTW awards of the season in consecutive weeks. He was named men’s field AOTW for the weeks of April 1 (Al Manuel, 219-3), April 8 (Stanford, 212-1) and April 15 (Pelluer, 216-8). He also claimed the honors three times during the 2013 outdoor season.
He becomes just the second Eagle in school history to earn the honors four times during a season. EWU Hall of Famer Joyce Rainwater earned women’s track AOTW honors four times during the 1990 indoor season.
Arakawa’s personal and seasonal-best throw of 219-3 at the Al Manuel Invitational earned him his first AOTW honor of the season. That mark currently ranks atop the Big Sky, seventh in the west region and 13th in the nation amongst Division I competitors. He entered the 2014 season with the No. 2 all-time spot at Eastern, but has inched closer to the school record and Big Sky Conference record of 226-2 set in 2007 by David Paul. Arakawa ranks third all-time in the Big Sky behind Paul and Northern Arizona’s Karim Chester (219-8, 2005).
Arakawa was also named AOTW once during the 2014 indoor season, when he had a personal-best toss of 66-1 in the weight throw at the Ed Jacoby Invitational on Jan. 31. That mark also ranks second in school history behind Paul, who had a throw of 68-8 1/2 in 2007.
The junior from Capital High School is coming off his first career Big Sky title in the weight throw, in which he led a historic one-two-three sweep for Eastern with teammates Nielsen and Jon Buchanan. He also put together two All-Big Sky performances last season, placing second in both the weight and hammer in 2013.
Arakawa will be back in the ring this weekend as Eastern heads to Corvallis, Ore., for the Oregon State High Performance Meet on May 1-2.