May 12, 2007

Bonnie Millard Wins Discus on Final Day of Championships

May 12, 2007

With a personal best throw of 155-0 in the discus at the 2007 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Pocatello, Idaho, Eastern Washington University sophomore Bonnie Millard won the event and earned the automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA West Regional Championships.

Millard is now ranked fourth in school history in the discus with that throw. Her previous personal best was 149-8, which she threw earlier this season.

After placing fifth in yesterday's shot put (43-4 ¼), Erica Chaney finished fourth in the discus (141-7).

"Both Bonnie and Erica have performed well this weekend," said women's head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "Erica performed well yesterday and today. I don't know if I could've asked for anything more from her. I was hoping they could get that regional mark for the experience and Bonnie pulled it off."

Candice Nell placed fourth in the women's triple jump with a career best 38-9 ¾ to rank second in school history behind fellow teammate Teanna Meinhold at 39-7. Meinhold who placed third in the 2005 outdoor championships, finished sixth this year with a jump of 38-0 ¼.

"We needed Candice and Teanna to step up and they did that for us," added Mecklenburg. "They jumped really well. In their minds they wanted to jump farther, but being their last meet it's tough. It's not very often you see two women from the same school making the finals in this event, so they pulled it off and did a great job."

The women's 4 x 100 finished fifth with a time of 47.22, their best of the season and the fifth best time in school history. The relay team includes Lindsey Buttrey, Jessica Duran, Sarah Frey and Krystal Deyo.

Camille Moseley was fifth in the 1,500 at 4:38.30.

"Camille had a great 1,500," Mecklenburg said. "It was hot when she was running and it was tough in the altitude. She hung with the leaders for a long time. They pulled away at the end but she did a great job for us. I'm looking forward to her performances next year. She will have some mileage behind her and should do great next season."

"Camille ran a perfect 1,500," said cross country coach Chris Zeller. "She started out in the inside an was able to hold her place. The wind picked up pretty good and she was able to tuck in a pack of four girls and they separated themselves from the rest of the field as she held on for fifth."

Deyo placed sixth in the finals of women's 100 with a personal best time of 11.92 which ranks her fourth in school history. Her previous personal best was in yesterday's prelims with a time of 11.98.

"Krystal had a personal record today and it was a great finish for the freshman at these championships," said Mecklenburg.

Placing and recording personal bests in the women's hammer throw were juniors Valerie Bertsch and Erika Kirley-Price. Bertsch finished fifth with a throw of 167-9 to rank fourth in school history. Her previous career best was 161-3 earlier this season.

Kirley-Price finished seventh with a throw of 167-4, more than 11 feet better than her previous career best of 156-3. That mark now ranks her fifth all-time at Eastern.

"Valerie and Erika had huge personal best throws today," Mecklenburg said. "It was huge for our hammer throwers to get those points. Kudos to assistant Mike Quinn for that. He has done a good job with the hammer throwers this year."

After placing fourth in the 10,000 on day one, Mattie Bridgmon took seventh in the 5,000 with a time of 18:08.21.

"Mattie came off that 10,000 last night and for her to score in the 5,000 was tough," added Mecklenburg. "It was a tough track out there today and a great performance on her part. She put it together, stayed focused and got the job done."

"Mattie, took fourth in the 10,000 and the conditions were better for that race," said Zeller. "She was in great company and ran an incredible race. To come back today in the 5,000 and place in the heat of the day was incredible. She started to pull away at the end and finished seventh."

The women's 4 x 400 relay team of Duran, Frey, Moseley and Kristen Felderman finished seventh with a time of 3:56.71. Their time was the eighth fastest in school history.

In team scoring, the women finished seventh with 71 points.

Carolee Gutierrez, Sarah Hegna and Millard will compete at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore., May 25-26. The NCAA Championships will be held in Sacramento, Calif., June 6-9.

"I except regionals to be a learning experience for Bonnie," said Mecklenburg. "She is improving each week and hopefully she will PR again and do well. No matter what it'll be a good experience and she will grow as a competitor and athlete."

"Carolee and Sarah are both coming in with years of regional experience behind them and I expect them to do well," Mecklenburg added. "Sarah is over-do for a good vault and I think it'll be her best regional championship ever."

"Carolee was disappointed coming in second in the javelin, but it should help propel her in the regional meet and give her a little bit of confidence," said Mecklenburg.

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