June 1, 2007
Eastern Washington University track and field seniors Carolee Gutierrez and David Paul will make their bids for All-America honors when they compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Championships (June 6-9) in Sacramento, Calif.
The top eight American finishers earn All-America status at the meet. Their season-best performances rank in the top six nationally in their respective events.
Paul will be competing in the preliminaries of the hammer throw Wednesday (June 6) at 1:45 p.m. The finals will be Friday (June 8) at 1:15 p.m.
Gutierrez will be competing in the preliminaries of the javelin Thursday (June 7) at 6 p.m. with the finals being Saturday (June 9) at 10 a.m.
To qualify for the finals, an athlete must place in the top 12 in the preliminaries. More information on the event, including results and broadcast schedule, can be found at: http://www.hornetsports.com/.
"I am expecting both of them to do really well," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "I am thinking they have a great chance at being All-Americans, and I am really excited to get down there and see what happens."
Gutierrez, a 2002 graduate of Newport High School (Wash.), is making her first appearance at the national level. She is currently ranked fourth in the javelin with a throw of 175-5, which placed her second at the NCAA West Regional Championships (May 25-26). She set a new personal best and broke her own school and Big Sky Conference records of 167-9 she set earlier this season at the Al Manuel Invitational (March 31). Currently ranked first with a throw of 189-11 is Rachel Yurkovich from the University of Oregon.
"It will be interesting to see how Carolee will do at the NCAA championships, as it is her first time at an NCAA meet," said Mecklenburg. "She came in her freshman year with high expectations and this will give her the opportunity to meet those goals."
Paul is currently ranked sixth in the hammer with a throw of 226-2. His mark broke Eastern and Big Sky Conference records and was set at the 2007 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships (May 9-12). He placed fifth at the NCAA West Regional Championships (May 25-26) with a throw of 213-7. Corey Martin from Auburn University is currently ranked first with a throw of 234-4.
The 2002 graduate of Yelm High School (Wash.), has made huge strides in the hammer since his freshman season. He had a school-record toss of 204-5 as a junior last season. His best as a sophomore was 188-1 and, as a freshman, he had a best mark of 147-11.
This will be Paul's second appearance at the NCAA Championships. At the 2007 Indoor Championships, Paul finished 14th in the weight throw (63-1 1/4).
"This is Dave's second time at the NCAA Championship level, so he knows what he is getting into," Mecklenburg added. "Having the experience to compete at that level will help at this meet."
"The goal for athletes entering our women's and men's program is to develop their potential to become a national-caliber competitor," said head men's track and field coach Stan Kerr. "Experience at a national meet is unlike any other meet in which we compete."
Eastern has had four All-Americans in its history at the NCAA Division I level (indoors and outdoors). Kari McKay in the 10,000 (35:18.15) is the lone female with a fourth-place finish in 1992. On the men's side outdoors, Ryan Cole in 2001 placed eighth in the javelin (223-3) and Greg Jones took second in the high jump (7-3) in 1986. Eastern's only indoor All-American was Kurt Kraemer with a triple jump mark of 52-1 3/4 to finish in ninth place in 2001.