Davis, Michael Show Improvement at NCAA Preliminaries in Texas

Indoor All-American Keisa Monterola and high-flying teammate Robin Taylor compete in the pole vault on Friday

Eastern Washington University senior Shene Davis nearly broke her personal record in the long jump with a mark of 19-5 1/4, as she finished 28th out of 48 competitors at the NCAA Preliminaries in Austin, Texas, on Thursday (May 24).

Davis is one of six Eastern athletes competing in the qualifier for the NCAA Championships June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa. Her best career jump is a school-record leap of 19-9 1/2 set at the 2010 Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships, but Thursday’s leap equaled the best of her outdoor career and ranks third in school history.

“Shene had a great day,” said women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “She really stepped it up and performed very well. I can’t wait to see how she does in the triple jump.”

Davis will compete in the triple jump on Saturday (May 26). Davis broke the school record in the event at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships with a mark of 40-6 1/4. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.

Freshman sprinter Brad Michael, making his debut at the NCAA Preliminaries, finished 42nd Thursday in the 400-meter dash in a time of 48.10.

“Brad improved on his seeding (48th) and competed against a very high caliber of athletes,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. “The experience today will allow him to be more prepared for this meet next season.”

Senior Michelle Coombs reached a mark of 151-6 in the javelin on a day where Mecklenburg said many of the throwers at the meet seemed to be struggling. Coombs finished 28th overall.

“A lot of the javelin throwers struggled today, and unfortunately Michelle was one of those who did so,” Mecklenburg said. “But in the end, this meet was a great experience for her and it will allow her to build on what she has already accomplished.”

Big Sky Conference 10,000 meter champion Kyle King finished that event in Austin with a time of 31:33.31, which placed him 32th. His next event will be the 5,000 on Saturday, which begins at 6:05 p.m.

“Kyle was around the middle of the pack through the first half of the race, but he sort of shut it down a little bit to save himself for the 5,000,” said distance coach Chris Zeller. “Overall it was a great race where he challenged everyone throughout.”

Pole vaulters Keisa Monterola and Robin Taylor, who are ranked 10th and 19th in the nation, respectively, will be competing on Friday at 11 a.m. The top 12 finishers advance to the NCAA Championships. At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Monterola finished fifth, and she and Taylor finished 1-2 at the Big Sky Conference Championships two weeks ago with identical marks.

“Keisa and Robin are Eastern’s highest nationally-ranked athletes, so tomorrow will be very exciting,” said Mecklenburg. “We’re expecting some big things in the vault and hoping that we can get both to move on to nationals.”

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