Pair of Recent Big Sky Champions honored for success athletically and academically
Junior men’s track and field student-athlete Jordan Arakawa and senior women’s track and field student-athlete Keisa Monterola have been selected by the Eastern Washington University Athletic Department as the April Scholar-Athletes of the Month, announced Thursday, April 3.
Arakawa is an exercise science/pre-physical therapy major with a 3.93 grade point average after graduating from Capital High School in Olympia, Wash., in 2010. Monterola, a 2006 graduate of Licro Caracas High School in Caracas, Venezuela, and a transfer from Clackamas Community College, is majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a 3.10 grade point average.
Arakawa led a historic one-two-three sweep in the men’s weight throw at the Big Sky Indoor Championships back on Feb. 27-March 1, claiming his first career conference title with a throw of 65-8 3/4. His teammates Zack Nielsen (63-9 1/2) and Jon Buchanan (63-5 1/2) each hit personal bests to join Arakawa on the podium. It marked just the second time in school history EWU has swept an event since Mike Erickson, Mike Krings and Mike Uhlenkott did so in the pole vault at the 2005 outdoor championships.
During the indoor season, Arakawa had a personal-best toss of 66-1, a mark that continues to rank second all-time at Eastern behind school-record holder David Paul (68-8 1/2, 2007). He received Big Sky Men’s Field Athlete of the Week honors for that performance on Feb. 4.
Arakawa also is off to a strong start in the 2014 outdoor season, as he had a mark of 209-6 in the hammer throw at the Dusty Lane Open to place first and book his ticket to the Big Sky meet. He uncorked a personal-best toss of 219-3 at the Al Manuel Invitational two weeks later, winning the event by over 30 feet. That mark currently sits atop the Big Sky and also ranks him fifth in the west region and eighth in the nation amongst Division I competitors.
That performance at the Al Manuel additionally earned him Big Sky Men’s Field AOTW honors for the week of April 1. He has claimed those honors five times in his career; four outdoors and once indoors. Arakawa also had two second-place conference finishes in the weight and hammer last season.
Arakawa entered the 2014 season with the No. 2 spot in school history in the hammer, but has inched closer to the school record and Big Sky Conference record of 226-2, also set by Paul in 2007. Arakawa ranks third all-time in the Big Sky behind Paul and Northern Arizona’s Karim Chester (219-8, 2005).
Monterola capped her final season with the Eagles in terrific fashion, winning the pole vault at the indoor conference meet with a clearance of 13-5 3/4. She finished her career with four conference titles (two indoors, two outdoors) in the event in five Big Sky appearances.
The former Venezuelan national record holder has exhausted her NCAA eligibility. During her time at Eastern, she shattered the school record indoors (14-4) and outdoors (14-0), and broke the conference record indoors as well.
Monterola became the first Eastern female athlete to earn All-America honors indoors, as she placed fifth at the 2012 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships with a mark of 14-1 1/4. She was also just the second indoor All-American for Eastern, as Kurt Kraemer placed fourth in the triple jump in 2001.
Additionally, Monterola was named the Big Sky Women’s Field Athlete of the Week two times during the 2014 indoor season. She claimed those honors a total of six times in her career, including five indoors and once outdoors.
April – Keisa
Monterola (Women's Track & Field)
and Jordan Arakawa (Men's Track &
March – Hayley Hodgins (Women's Basketball) and Venky Jois (Men's Basketball)
February – Lexie Nelson (Women's Basketball) and Tyler Harvey (Men's Basketball)
January – Aubrey Ashenfelter (Women’s Basketball) and Ashton Miller (Football)
December – Allie Schumacher (Volleyball) and Cooper Kupp (Football)
November – Katie Mahoney (Women’s Cross Country) and Ronnie Hamlin (Football)
October – Cassie Black (Women’s Soccer) and Ashton Clark (Football)