May 21, 2007

Seven Athletes Head to Oregon for West Regionals

May 21, 2007

Eastern Washington University track and field senior David Paul and six other athletes head to Eugene, Ore., for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) West Regional Championships (May 25-26) at Hayward Field.

To qualify for the NCAA West Regional Championships, Paul, Carolee Gutierrez, Sarah Hegna, Chad Chambers and Tyler Cathey met the qualifying standards for their respective events at previous meets in the outdoor season. Chad Butorac and Bonnie Millard earned automatic berths to regionals by placing first in their events at the Big Sky Conference Championships.

Paul qualified in the hammer throw, discus and shot put. He broke Big Sky Conference and school records with a throw of 226-2 in the hammer throw at the 2007 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Pocatello, Idaho (May 9-12). Ahead of Paul in the NCAA rankings and also in the West Regional is Adam Midles of USC with a throw of 228-2.

Paul also qualified in the discus with a throw of 185-0 which ranks him second in school history behind Brad Boland (193-4 1/2). Paul placed first in the discus at the BSC Outdoor Championships for the second-straight year and finished third in 2005. At the 2006 West Regional Championships, Paul had a throw of 204-5 in the hammer to place sixth and was 15th in the discus at 173-2.

He placed third at this year's BSC Championships in the shot put to qualify for regionals with a throw of 56-10 1/2 to rank him fourth in school history.

The 2002 graduate of Yelm High School (Wash.), has made huge strides in the hammer since his freshman season. He finished second as a junior in the weight throw indoors and had a season best of 65-5 1/2. As a sophomore, he had a best of 57-0 1/4 and as a freshman his best was 45-8.

Chambers qualified in the high jump with a career best jump of 6-10 3/4 at the Vandal Outdoor Jamboree (May 5). The senior from Longview, Wash., transferred from Clark College. He placed fifth at the BSC Championships and is ranked eighth in school history.

Qualifying in the pole vault is Hegna, a senior from Arlington (Wash.) High School and a 2003 graduate. She had a career best vault of 12-11 1/2 in Irvine, Calif., earlier this year, to rank second in school history. She placed second at the BSC Championship for the second straight season behind 2007 NCAA Indoor Champion Ellie Rudy of Montana State. Rudy is currently ranked second in the NCAA at 14-2 1/2. Hegna finished 27th at the 2006 NCAA West Regional Championships with a vault of 12-0.

Gutierrez took second in the javelin (161-0) at the BSC Championships behind the three-time conference champion Kim Berg of Montana State. Gutierrez, a 2002 graduate from Newport (Wash.) High School, set the new BSC and EWU school record of 167-9 earlier this season at the Al Manuel Invitational (March 31) and is currently ranked 15th in the NCAA Division I and third in the West Region.

She will also compete in the discus in which she also set BSC and school records with an effort of 160-9 this season. Gutierrez placed 14th at the 2006 West Regional Championships with a throw of 144-10.

Setting a personal best in the 400 with a time of 47.19 at the BSC Championships, Butorac qualified for the NCAA West Regionals with a first-place finish. Butorac is a 2005 graduate of Northport (Wash.) High School.

Cathey is from Richland, Wash., and a 2005 graduate of Hanford High School. He had a fourth place finish at the BSC Championships with a throw of 210-7 to rank him eighth in school history. At the 2006 BSC Championships Cathey placed second as a freshman. At the 2006 West Regional Championships Cathey had a throw of 195-10 with a 20th place finish. He is ranked tenth going into regionals.

Millard had a personal best in the discus of 155-0 at the BSC Championships for a first place finish. She is a 2005 graduate from Priest River (Idaho) High School and is now ranked fourth in EWU school history and the sophomore will make her first appearance at the regional level.

To earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships to be held in Sacramento, Calif. (June 6-9), an athlete must finish in the top five in their event at regionals. Only Kari McKay in the 10,000 (35:18.15) has ever placed in the NCAA Championships for the EWU women with a seventh-place finish in 1992. On the men's side, Alex Moon was 26th in 2006 in the 400 hurdles (51.38), Ryan Cole in 2001 placed eighth in the javelin (223-3) and in 1999 he placed 15th (211-3); and Greg Jones took second in the high jump (7-3) back in 1986.

For more information on the NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore., (May 25-26), go to http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=4364&SPID=243&DB_OEM_ID=500&ATCLID=876794.

For more information on the NCAA Championships held in Sacramento, Calif., (June 6-9), go to http://www.sacsports.com/2007%20ncaa%20track%20&%20field.htm.

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