Eagles Head to Montana for Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships

Led by three defending individual champions, Eastern is looking for its best-ever finishes

Bonnie Berscheid, Cameron Moore and Aaron Mettler look to defend titles as the Eastern Washington University track and field teams compete in Missoula, Mont., at the 2009 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships on May 13-16. The men's decathlon and women's heptathlon take place the first two days, followed by the regular portion of the meet on Friday (May 15) and Saturday (May 16).

Both the men's and women's teams are looking for their best-ever finishes in school history. The men have placed third on four occasions while the women have placed sixth seven times. School records for point totals are 108.5 by the men in 2006 and 79 by the women in 1999.

Last year, Eastern's men finished sixth with 74 points and the women placed seventh with 75.5 points. This year, Eastern met the Big Sky qualifying standard 49 times, including 26 for the men and 23 for the women.

"We are looking for one of our top finishes ever," said head women's track and field coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "We think we have the ability to score more points maybe than we have ever scored before. We always pretty much put it together at the Big Sky meet -- we tend to really step it up and compete well there. We are expecting that for this meet."

"Much like indoors, we go into it as a well-kept secret," said head men's track and field coach Stan Kerr, whose squad finished a best-ever third in February's BSC indoor championships. "We know we have a very solid and deep team. We are looking for a number of really outstanding individual performances that will put us in a good position."

Berscheid (formally Millard) is the two-time defending discus champion and will look for a third title as a senior. Sitting in a tough field, she is currently ranked fifth in the conference with her throw of 156-2, which qualifies her for the NCAA West Regionals. Her throw is less than seven feet behind the top-ranked throw of 163-1 by Maria Braun of Northern Arizona.

"This is a really good year in the discus," said Mecklenburg. "She didn't come out nervous this year or anything. She came out going, `all right, this is going to be a good year for the competition.'"

Moore will defend his title in the triple jump and is currently ranked second in the conference with Sacramento State's Philip Burks with a mark of 48-0. Montana State's Kevin Ludwig, who defeated Moore by 4 1/2 inches at February's indoor championships is currently first with a mark of 49-7 3/4.

"Cameron is extremely focused," said Kerr. "Cameron is a gamer and is ready to jump."

Currently sitting fifth in the conference, Mettler is looking to defend the javelin title he won last season as a freshman. Mettler has a best throw of 213-2 this season to rank behind four others with efforts between 214-4 and 216-6.

"Aaron is working on his four-peat," said Kerr. "He won as a freshman and has peaked well this season. He is ready to defend his title, but that field is tightly-packed."

Big Sky Conference indoor high jump champion Adam Stewart is currently tied with Idaho State's Jacob Keller for second in the conference with a mark of 6-8 3/4. The leader with a mark of 6-9 is Weber State's Chris Struckman, who was third behind Stewart and Keller at the indoor championships.

Looking for her first conference title is senior Nicole Luckenbach, who currently ranks first in the hammer with a throw of 185-7. Her school-record mark qualified her for the NCAA West Regionals and ranks her six feet ahead of the next-best competitor.

"It is tough going in leading the conference because of the pressure that is on you," said Mecklenburg. " Nicole has been throwing well all year and it is her goal to win."

Krystal Deyo is currently ranked second in two events -- the 100 meters and the long jump. In the 100, she is just two seconds behind the leading time of 11.88. Deyo's best long jump of 19-8 1/4 qualifies her for the NCAA West Regionals and set a new school record. She is just three inches behind the top mark of 19-11 1/2.

Deyo is also the anchor leg for the women's 4x100-meter relay, which is tied for second in the conference with a time of 46.76.

"Krystal is the one to watch with the Eastern crew," said Mecklenburg. "She is going to be the big point producer for us. Krystal is ready and she competes well at the conference championship meets. We are expecting big things from her."

Sophomore Chelsi Friese is currently second in the pole vault with a mark of 12-7 1/2, ranking behind the vault of 13-1 1/2 by Montana State's Ellie Rudy. A senior, Rudy has won two NCAA Championships indoors and holds the Big Sky record both indoors and outdoors.

"It is Ellie Rudy's final season so I know she is not going to want to lose it," said Mecklenburg. "Chelsi has her work cut out for her, but you never know from one day to the next what is going to happen. I think Chelsi is ready to pull it off and she can win."

Amanda Peterson, who finished fourth in the javelin at the 2008 BSC Championships, is one of several Eagles hoping to earn All-Big Sky honors with a top-three finish. She currently ranks second with a throw of 150-10.

Big Sky indoor shot put champion David Howard could also score heavily for the Eagles in the throws. He currently ranks third in the conference in the discus with a mark of 160-6, is sixth in the shot put with a throw of 53-1 3/4 and is 11th in the javelin with a toss of 196-1. He is also a possible entrant in the hammer throw.

"We are hoping to get David in all four throwing events," added Kerr. "People know who David is and what he is capable of."

The Eagles have seven athletes who have met the standard for the NCAA West Regionals on May 29-30 in Eugene, Ore. They include Luckenbach (hammer), Peterson (javelin), Michelle Coombs (javelin), Mettler (javelin), Friese (pole vault), Deyo (long jump) and Berscheid (discus).

 


-- Upcoming Meet Schedule
May 13-16 - Big Sky Conference Championships - Missoula, Mont.
Meet Information - http://filemanager.montanagrizzlies.com/mtgriz3/news/files/pdf/tf/2009%20OD/BSC%20schedule.pdf

 

-- Last Week's Meet Schedule
May 9 - Vandal Jamboree - Moscow, Idaho
Results - http://www.govandals.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=90757&SPID=10991&DB_OEM_ID=17100&ATCLID=3736209

 

-- Top performers:
-- Alex Smyth (Kent, Wash. - Sequim HS '06)
With a personal-best 1,500 at the Ken Shannon-Ken Foreman on May 8, Alex Smyth had a time of 3:51.57 to finish fifth out of 29 athletes. At the Mt. Sac Relays on April 18, Smyth qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championships in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:53.13. He has also qualified for the league championships in the 5,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational on March 27 with a time of 14:32.86.

 -- David Howard (Spokane, Wash. - East Valley HS '05 & CC of Spokane) 
With a personal-best discus at the Vandal Jamboree on May 9, David Howard had a throw of 163-7 to finish third out of 19. He had already qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championships earlier this season with a throw of 160-6. At the 38th Annual Pelluer Invitational on May 1, Howard qualified for the BSC Championships in the shot put with a throw of 53-1 3/4 to finish third and qualified in the javelin with a toss of 196-1 to also finish third.

-- Mari Bingham (Tacoma, Wash. - Mt. Tahoma HS '07)
At the Vandal Jamboree on May 9, Mari Bingham had a personal-best shot put of 42-10 3/4. She had already qualified for the conference championships at the Oregon Relays on April 24.




-- Men's Qualifiers/Records
Big Sky Championships - May 13-16, 2009 in Missoula, Mont.
NCAA West Regionals -May 29-30, 2009 in Eugene, Ore.
NCAA Championships - June 10-13, 2009 in Fayetteville, Ark.

NCAA Regional Championships Automatic Qualifying Standard Met: 1 (Aaron Mettler - Javelin/213-2 - Standard is 202-1)

School Records Broken: 1 (Paul Limpf - 10,000m/29:45.89 - old record 19:48.6 by Rick Adams in 1978)

Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 26 (New qualifiers: 1 Gabe Chavez/Pole Vault)
400m - 48.26 - Brad Wall - Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen-Vancouver '08)
1,500m - 3:51.57 - Alex Smyth - Kent, Wash. (Sequim HS '06)
5,000m - 14:32.86 - Alex Smyth - Kent, Wash. (Sequim HS '06)
5,000m - 14:33.64 - Paul Limpf - Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS '05)
5,000m - 14:57.31 (altitude adjusted to 14:46.05) - Kyle King - Coupeville, Wash. (Coupeville HS '08)
10,000m - 29:45.89 - Paul Limpf - Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS '05)
400 Hurdles - 54.69 - Nick Mundell - Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS '06)
400 Hurdles - 55.08 - Armon Blackwell - Tacoma, Wash. (Clover Pack HS '06)
400 Hurdles - 55.38 - Kersee Lind - Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '07)
High Jump - 6-8 3/4 - Adam Stewart - Yakima, Wash. (Davis HS '07)
High Jump - 6-6 3/4 - Stephen Praast - Ravensdale, Wash. (Tahoma HS '06)
Pole Vault - 16-0 3/4 - Ben Cogdill - Estacada, Ore. (Estacada HS '06 & Port. St. Univ.)
Pole Vault - 15-7 - Gabe Chavez - Hoquiam, Wash. (Hoquiam HS '06)
Long Jump - 23-1 3/4 - Kurt Williams - Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS '06 & CC of Spokane)
Triple Jump - 48-0 - Cameron Moore - Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS '04)
Triple Jump - 46-4 1/4 - Armand Hopkins - Seattle, Wash. (Renton HS '05)
Triple Jump - 46-9 - Levi Knudson - Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor HS '06)
Triple Jump - 45-7 1/4 - Kurt Williams - Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS '06 & CC of Spokane)
Shot Put - 53-1 3/4 - David Howard - Spokane, Wash. (East Valley HS '05 & CC of Spokane)
Discus - 163-7 - David Howard - Spokane, Wash. (East Valley HS '05 & CC of Spokane)
Hammer - 163-8 - Cody Irby - Otis Orchards, Wash. (East Valley HS `05)
Javelin - 199-6 - Cody Irby - Otis Orchards, Wash. (East Valley HS `05)
Javelin - 213-2 - Aaron Mettler - Walla Walla, Wash. (Walla Walla HS '07)
Javelin - 195-9 - John Clevenger - Hoquiam, Wash. (Wishkah HS '06)
Javelin - 196-1 - David Howard - Spokane, Wash. (East Valley HS '05 & CC of Spokane)
Decathlon - 6,223 - Kersee Lind - Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '07)

 

-- Women's Qualifiers/Records
Big Sky Championships - May 13-16, 2009 in Missoula, Mont.
NCAA West Regionals -May 29-30, 2009 in Eugene, Ore.
NCAA Championships - June 10-13, 2009 in Fayetteville, Ark.

NCAA Regional Championships Automatic Qualifying Standard Met: 6 (Krystal Deyo - Long Jump/19-8 1/4 - Standard is 19-8 1/4, Chelsi Friese - Pole Vault/12-7 1/2 - Standard is 12-5 1/2, Amanda Peterson - Javelin/150-10 - Standard is 142-6 1/2, Bonnie Berscheid - Discus/155-9 - Standard is 155-2, Nicole Luckenbach - Hammer/184-1 - Standard is 177-7 1/2 & Michelle Coombs - Javelin/146-9 - Standard is 142-6 1/2)

School Records Broken: 2 (Krystal Deyo - Long Jump/19-8 1/4 - old record 19-1 1/2 by Cristi Horning in 2000 & Nicole Luckenbach - Hammer/184-1 - old record 182-8 by Julie Nielson in 2001)

Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 23 (New qualifiers: 0)
100m - 11.90 - Krystal Deyo - Castle Rock, Wash. (Castle Rock HS '06)
100m - 12.18 - Shene Davis - Yakima, Wash. (Selah HS '07)
200m - 25.19 - Shene Davis - Yakima, Wash. (Selah HS '07)
200m - 25.24 - Shannon Long - Richland, Wash. (Richland HS '04 & CC of Spokane)
5,000m - 17:39.64 - Amber Nickelson - Lake Stevens, Wash. (Lake Stevens HS '04)
100 Hurdles - 14.91 - Christy Borders - Sunnyside, Wash. (Sunnyside HS `06 & Gonzaga)
400 Hurdles - 1:02.34 - Ashley Stabl - Farmington, Wash. (Tekoa-Oakesdale HS '08)
400 Hurdles - 1:04.85 - Olivia Johnston - Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin HS '08)
3,000 Steeplechase - 11:03.01 - Amber Nickelson - Lake Stevens, Wash. (Lake Stevens HS '04)
High Jump - 5-3 3/4 - Irene Lowe - Yelm, Wash. (Yelm HS '07)
High Jump - 5-3 1/4 - Brianna Okoro - Lakewood, Wash. (Bellermine Prep '08)
Pole Vault - 12-7 1/2 - Chelsi Friese - Lebam, Wash. (Willapa Valley HS '07)
Long Jump - 19-8 1/4 - Krystal Deyo - Castle Rock, Wash. (Castle Rock HS '06)
Long Jump - 18-8 - Shene Davis - Yakima, Wash. (Selah HS '07)
Triple Jump - 38-2 1/4 - Shene Davis - Yakima, Wash. (Selah HS '07)
Shot Put - 42-10 3/4 - Mari Bingham - Tacoma, Wash. (Mt. Tahoma HS '07)
Discus - 156-2 - Bonnie Berscheid - Priest River, Idaho (Priest River HS '05)
Hammer - 185-7 - Nicole Luckenbach - Mill Creek, Wash. (Snohomish HS '05)
Hammer - 159-3 - Aimee Carroll - Silverdale, Wash. (Central Kitsap HS '04)
Javelin - 150-10 - Amanda Peterson - Gig Harbor, Wash. (Peninsula HS '07)
Javelin - 148-3 - Michelle Coombs - Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '08)
Javelin - 131-4 - Jessica Thomas - Auburn, Wash. (Auburn Riverside HS '05)
Heptathlon - 4,438 - Michelle Coombs - Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '08)

 

-- Other Top Performers in the 2009 season:

-- Armon Blackwell (Tacoma, Wash. - Clover Park HS '06)
Armon Blackwell had a personal-best time of 55.11 to win the 400-meter hurdles at the Oregon-Washington Scoring Clash on April 11. At the Al Manuel Invitational on April 4, Blackwell qualified for the BSC Championships in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.34 to finish second. 

-- Aimee Carroll - (Silverdale, Wash. - Central Kitsap HS '04)
At the Al Manuel Invitational on April 4, Aimee Carroll qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the hammer with a personal-best throw of 159-3 to finish fourth. That mark ranks her 12th in school history.

-- Ben Cogdill (Estacada, Ore. - Estacada HS '06 & Portland State Univ.)
At the Stanford Invitational on March 28, Ben Cogdill qualified for the conference championships in the pole vault with a mark of 16-0 3/4 to rank fourth in school history.

-- Shene Davis (Yakima, Wash. - Selah HS '07)
Qualifying for the Big Sky Conference Championships in the long jump, Shene Davis had a mark of 18-8 to finish second at the 38th Annual Pelluer Invitational. That mark ranks her seventh in the conference. At the Beach Invitational on April 18, Davis improved her season-best time in the 100 meters to 12.18. At the Oregon-Washington Scoring Clash on April 11, Davis won both the 200 meters and the triple jump and qualified for BSC Championships in both events. She had a time of 25.19 and a jump of 38-2 1/4, and earlier this season she also qualified in the 100.

-- Krystal Deyo (Castle Rock, Wash. - Castle Rock HS '06)
Breaking the school record in the long jump and qualifying for the Big Sky Conference Championships and the NCAA West Regionals, Krystal Deyo had a mark of 19-8 1/4 to finish first at the 38th Annual Pelluer Invitational on May 1. That mark ranks her second in the Big Sky Conference. She also won the 100 at the Pelluer Invitational with a meet record time of 10.99, and ran the anchor leg on EWU's 4x100 team that had the fourth-fastest time in school history (46.76). Recording the fourth-fastest time in school history, Deyo had a time of 11.90 in the 100 meters to finish seventh out of 67 athletes at the Beach Invitational on April 18. That time ranks her second in conference. She holds school records indoors in the long jump (19-2 3/4) and the 60 meters (7.55).

-- Cody Irby (Otis Orchards, Wash. - East Valley HS `05)
At the Al Manuel Invitational on April 4, Cody Irby finished fourth in the javelin (195-4) and fifth in the hammer (162-4). His best javelin throw came at the Stanford Invitational where he finished fourth with a mark of 199-6, which qualified him for the conference championships. His best hammer came at the Dusty Lane Invitational where he finished second with a throw of 162-10 to qualify for the BSC Championships. 

-- Paul Limpf (Vancouver, Wash. - Evergreen HS '05)
At the Oregon Relays on April 25, Paul Limpf qualified for the conference championships in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:33.64. Limpf had a time of 29:45.89 in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational on March 28 to break the previous school record of 29:48.6 set by Rick Adams in 1978. Limpf, who also qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championships with that time, had a previous personal-best time of 29:57.13 in 2008.

-- Nicole Luckenbach (Mill Creek, Wash. - Snohomish HS '05)
With her third throw this season of over 180 feet, Nicole Luckenbach broke her own school record in the hammer with a throw of 185-7 to finish fourth at the Oregon Relays on April 24. She had a winning throw of 184-1 at the Oregon-Washington Scoring Clash on April 11. At the Stanford Invitational on March 28, Luckenbach qualified for the league championships and the NCAA West Regionals in the hammer with a throw of 182-10 to win that event. That mark also broke the school record of 182-8 set by Julie Nielson in 2001.

-- Aaron Mettler (Walla Walla, Wash. - Walla Walla HS '07)
Qualifying for the NCAA West Regionals, Aaron Mettler had a personal-best javelin throw of 213-2 to win that event at the 38th Annual Pelluer Invitational on May 1. That mark ranks him fifth in conference and sixth in school history. He qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championships at the Stanford Invitational on March 27 with a throw of 199-3.

-- Amanda Peterson (Gig Harbor, Wash. - Peninsula HS '07)
With a season-best javelin throw, Amanda Peterson had a mark of 150-10 to finish second out of 33 athletes at the Beach Invitational on April 18. She had already qualified for the NCAA West Regionals and the Big Sky Conference Championships earlier this season at the Al Manuel Invitational on April 3. Her career-best throw of 154-5 was set as a freshman in 2008 and ranks sixth in school history.

-- Alex Smyth (Kent, Wash. - Sequim HS '06)
At the Mt. Sac Relays on April 18, Alex Smyth qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championships in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:53.13. He has also qualified for the league championships in the 5,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational on March 27 with a time of 14:32.86.

-- Ashley Stabl - (Farmington, Wash. - Tekoa-Oakesdale HS '08)
With a personal-best in the 400-meter hurdles at the Oregon Relays on April 25, Ashley Stabl had a time of 1:02.34 to rank seventh in school history. At the Al Manuel Invitational on April 4, Stabl qualified for the conference championships in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.77 to win that event.

-- Adam Stewart (Yakima, Wash. - Davis HS '07)
The Big Sky Conference indoor high jump champion, Adam Stewart qualified for the outdoor conference championships in the high jump at the Beach Invitational on April 18. He had a mark of 6-8 3/4 to finish second out of 22 competitors. Stewart won the Big Sky indoor title in February with a high jump of 6-8 1/4.

-- Brad Wall (Vancouver, Wash. - Evergreen-Vancouver '08)
At the 38th Annual Pelluer Invitational on May 1, Brad Wall had a personal-best time of 48.26 in the 400 meters to finish second. He qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championships earlier this season at the Oregon Relays on April 24 with a time of 48.47.

-- Kurt Williams (Snohomish, Wash. - Snohomish HS '06 & CC of Spokane)
At the Oregon-Washington Scoring Clash on April 11, Kurt Williams qualified for the BSC Championships in the long jump with a winning mark of 23-1 3/4. He also finished fourth in the 200 meters with a time of 22.37.


 

-- All-Conference Performers
The following Eagle athletes have earned All-Big Sky Conference honors (top three finish) in previous Big Sky Conference track and field championships (indoors and outdoors):

-- Men
*Chad Butorac - (2007 Outdoor: Champion in 400 meters, 2007 Indoor: 2nd in 400 meters, 2006 Outdoors: 3rd in 400 meters, 2006 Indoors: 3rd in 200 meters)
Cameron Moore - (2009 Indoors: 2nd in triple jump & 2008 Outdoor: Champion in triple jump)
Aaron Mettler - (2008 Outdoor: Champion in javelin)
Adam Stewart - (2009 Indoors: Champion in high jump & 2008 Outdoor: 3rd in high jump)
Ben Cogdill - (2009 Indoors: 3rd in pole vault)
Armand Hopkins - (2009 Indoors: 3rd in long jump)
David Howard - (2009 Indoors: Champion in shot put)
4x400 Relay - (2007 Outdoor: 3rd)

-- Women
Bonnie Berscheid - (2007 & 2008 Outdoor: Champion in discus)
Chelsi Friese - (2009 Indoors: 2nd in pole vault)
Nicole Luckenbach - (2008 Outdoors: 2nd in hammer)
*Erica Chaney - (2008 Indoors: 2nd in shot put)
*Redshirting 2009 outdoor season

 

-- Links:
EWU Women's Top Performances by Event - http://goeags.cstv.com/sports/w-track/stats/2008-2009/09wtoutbestevent.html
EWU Women's Results by Athlete - http://goeags.cstv.com/sports/w-track/stats/2008-2009/09wtoutbestath.html

EWU Men's Top Performances by Event - http://goeags.cstv.com/sports/m-track/stats/2008-2009/09mtoutbestevent.html
EWU Men's Results by Athlete - http://goeags.cstv.com/sports/m-track/stats/2008-2009/09mtoutbestath.html

Direct Athletics Performance List - http://www.directathletics.com/lists/track/63_450.html

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