EWU Cross Country and Track and Field add fresh faces to 2010-11 roster

Roster highlights talented class of 15 newcomers

The Eastern Washington University track and field team presents a stellar lineup of newcomers for the 2010-11 school year as 15 new Eagles join the roster. Athletes include junior national champion in the hammer throw, Olivia Midles and Italian triple jumper Morena Mannucci, whose personal records already exceed marks in the Eagle record book.

Olivia Midles             Throws                      Fr.            HS                     Olympia, Wash (Capital HS ’10)

Coming from a family whose bloodlines flow rich in the excellence of the hammer throw, Midles broke records left and right in that event during her career at Capital High School in Olympia, Wash. Midles’s best toss in the hammer was 175-10 at the Centralia Twilight meet. She shattered the state record of 173-7 previously held by her cousin Gabby Midles, who currently throws for Idaho. Midles dominated the state meet in the hammer, winning in 2008 and 2010, breaking the meet record in 2010. She placed first at the USATF National Junior Track and Field Championships in 2007 and in 2010. Her best throw would already place her fifth on EWU’s all-time outdoor best list.

 Morena Mannucci      Jumps           Fr.        HS          Rome, Italy (Anco Marzio HS ’10)

Coming from Rome, Italy, Mannucci’s best mark in the triple jump was 40-9, a leap that would earn her EWU’s school record in the event. While competing for Fondiaria SAI Athletica, Mannucci performed at the Italian Junior Championships, finishing third indoor and fourth outdoor. Mannucci will come to America to join her brother, Eugenio, who throws for Idaho.  

Angelica Rodriguez  XC/Distance Fr.        HS          Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ‘10)

 A versatile athlete from Hermiston High School, Rodriguez excelled on the track as a sprinter, and also on the cross country course. During her single year of participating in cross country, Rodriguez placed second at the Oregon State Activities Association (OSAA) 5A Cross Country State Championships, running 19:09.0 on a 5,000-meter course. Rodriguez placed second at the OSAA 5A State Championships in the 400 meters for three-straight years. During her junior year she placed seventh in the 100 and fifth in the 200, and during her senior year placed sixth in the 100 and fourth in the 200. She ran her best times during her senior year in the 100 meters (12.32), 200 meters (25.22) and 400 meters (55.63). Her best time in the 400 meters would place her second on EWU’s all-time outdoor best list. 

Chelsea Lawhead      Sprints                       Jr.           TR                       Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho (Coeur d’ Alene HS & Spokane CC)                          

A transfer from Spokane Community College, Lawhead finished fourth in the 400 meters at the NWAACC Championships during both the 2009 and 2010 outdoor seasons, with her best time coming as a sophomore with a time of 57.88. She also helped the 4x400 relay place first in the NWAACC for two-straight years and was a part of the 4x100 relay that clinched the NWAACC title in 2010. Lawhead was voted most inspirational, most improved, team captain and Community Colleges of Spokane Scholar Athlete of the Month. She also received an academic leadership award. Lawhead graduated from Coeur d’ Alene High School in 2008.

Britt Henderson        XC/Distance Jr.        TR           Vancouver, Wash. (Prairie HS, ’08 & PSU & Clark College)

A transfer from Clark College, Henderson placed fourth at the NWAACC Cross Country Championships during her sophomore year, where she ran 18:58 on a 5,000-meter course. During her freshman year at Clark, Henderson won the NWAACC Championships in the 800 meters (2:18.31) and the 1500 meters (4:54.02). Her best time in the 800 would place her 12th on EWU’s all-time outdoor best list. Henderson graduated from Prairie High School in 2008.

Monica Jaenicke       XC/Distance Fr.        HS          Auburn, Wash. (Thomas Jefferson HS, ’10)

Jaenicke qualified for the State 4A Cross Country Championships three times while in high school. Her best state performance came during her senior year, when she placed 24th. Jaenicke ran her fastest time in the 800 during her junior year, running 2:37.04. She also ran her best times in the 1600 meters (5:27.82) and the 3200 meters (11:38.68) that season. In 2009, Jaenicke led her squad as team captain and was voted most valuable athlete for cross country at Thomas Jefferson High School. She was also selected to the Washington State Cross Country Association (WSCCA) All-State Team in 2009. Jaenicke excelled in the classroom, graduating from Jefferson High School with a 3.5 GPA.

Martha Sanford         Sprints/Hurdles           Fr.           HS                      Richland, Wash. (Richland HS ’10)

A hurdler from Richland High School, Sanford qualified for the State 4A Championship in the 300-meter hurdles for three-straight seasons, with her best finish coming her sophomore year as she placed eighth. Her personal record in the event is 45.26. Sanford also had best times the 100 (12.67), 200 (25.90), 400 (59.48) and 100-meter hurdles (15.51).

Thomas Kassa          Jumps/Multi   Fr.        HS          Anacortes, Wash. (Anacortes HS ’10)

Kassa was no stranger to the State 2A Championships while running for Anacortes High School, qualifying all four years in his high school career. He in the top eight in nine events and stood atop the podium twice his senior year, as he won the long jump (22-10) and the 200 (22.01). Kassa was named WIAA/ Seattle Times State Athlete of the Week for the week of May 17-22, and was the Skagit Valley Herald Track and Field Athlete of the Year for three-straight years. Kassa will bring his versatility to EWU’s track program, as he pursues a collegiate career in the decathlon.

Alex Avila                 XC/Distance Fr.        HS          Salem, Oreg. (North Central HS, ’10)

While running for North Central High School, a school known for its talented cross country and distance runners, Avila placed fourth in the 5,000 meters at the State 3A Championships, where he helped his team clinch its fourth-straight team title. During his junior year he placed 11th and his team went on to win the high school Nike Cross Nationals. Avila placed third in the 800 meters at the State 3A Championships his senior year, running a time of 1:54.08. He also ran the 1600 meters, with a best of 4:17.10 at the Pasco Invitational. 

Travis Stewart  Sprints              Fr.        HS       West Richland, Wash. (Hanford HS ’10)

A sprinter from Hanford High School, Stewart’s best event in high school was the 100 meters, with a personal best of 11.04 during his senior year. Stewart was named athlete of the meet at the Prosser Rotary Invitational after a second-place finish in the 100 and anchoring his 4x100-meter relay to a win. Stewart was named first team all-conference for the 4x100-meter relay and the 100 meters. He was also named second team all-conference in the 200 meters with a best time of 22.68. He lettered in track and football.

Jordan Arakawa           Throws             Fr.        HS       Olympia, Wash (Capital HS ’10)

Joining Olivia Midles from Capital High School in Olympia, Wash., Arakawa was a standout in the discus and hammer throw his senior year, placing third at the State 3A Championships in both events. He placed second in the hammer at the 2010 USATF National Junior Track and Field Championships, with a throw of 213-07.  His personal best in the discus is 172-9 and 218-3 in the hammer.

Michael Okoro Sprints              Fr.        HS       Lakewood, Wash (Clover Park HS ’10)   

A sprinter from Clover Park High School, Okoro competed at the State 3A Championships where he placed sixth or better in four events. Okoro placed second at state in the 400 meters (49.05) and fourth in the 200 meters (22.05) his senior year. During his sophomore year, Okoro placed third in the 400 meters (49.59) and sixth in the 200 meters (22.46).  Okoro will join his sister Brianna Okoro, who was the Big Sky Conference Champion in the 200 meters in 2010.  

Alex Flores      Sprints              Fr.        HS       Poulsbo, Wash. (North Kitsap HS ’10)
A sprinter from North Kitsap High School, Flores placed fifth in the 200 meters at the State 3A Championships his senior year, running a time of 22.69. Flores ran his personal record in the 100 (11.04) and 200 (22.04) at the 3A Olympic League Sub-District meet his senior year.

David Cannon  Throws             Fr.        HS       Seattle, Wash. (Shorecrest HS ’10)

A thrower from Shorecrest High School in Seattle, Wash., Cannon placed fifth in the shot put at the State 3A Championships his senior year, with a throw of 55-1. Cannon also had personal bests in the discus (120-4) and javelin (147-11).

Andre Moore    Jumps              So.       TR        Moses Lake, Wash. (HS ’09 & University of Mary)

While competing for The University of Mary, Moore placed first in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump at the Northern Sun Indoor Conference Championships. He also placed first in the triple jump at the outdoor championships. His best marks came during the indoor season in long jump (21-8) and triple jump (46-8).

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