Underdog Eagles prepared to prove doubters wrong in first meet of 2012
After a month off from competition, the Eastern Washington University men’s and women’s track and field will get back to action this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 13-14) at the UW Indoor Preview in Seattle, Wash.
“I’m expecting many of our men and women, regardless of event, to hit or exceed the Big Sky standards so they can qualify for the championships early in the season,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. “That way, the athletes can get that weight off their shoulders and focus on the championships.”
The 2012 Big Sky Conference Championships are Feb. 24-25 in Flagstaff, Ariz.
In the Big Sky coaches’ poll that was released last week, the men were slotted in fifth and the women eighth. Both teams are looking to prove voters wrong this weekend in Seattle.
“We feel the rankings were not an accurate reflection of the talent level on this team,” said Kerr. “We’re not a fifth place team -- we’re going to finish higher. The guys are going to find out where the conference placed us and will certainly want to prove them more than wrong.”
“We always tend to be voted lower in the polls, and we always do better at the end of the season,” said women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “So we’re once again aiming to exceed those expectations.”
Distance standout Kyle King, who won the 5,000-meter run in last year’s conference championship, will make his season debut in Seattle after redshirting the cross country season. Another athlete Kerr has his eye on is the reigning Big Sky champion in the 400-meter run, Brad Wall.
“Brad is the conference champion and he wants to nail a good mark on his first run,” said Kerr. He has the talent, and his season goals are to set the school record indoors, which I think he will do. He is a very seasoned racer.”
Keisa Monterola, who set the school record in the pole vault at the fourth annual Candy Cane Invitational with a mark of 13-11 1/4, will likely be jumping against other top vaulters in the nation. Among those projected participants is Stanford’s Katerina Stefanidi, who Monterola is tied with as the NCAA Division I leader.
“I think it’ll be a great opportunity for Keisa to see what she can do against the other top vaulters in the nation,” said Mecklenburg. “It will definitely be fun to see who will come out on top.”