Individual titles won by Erica Chaney (discus), Brad Wall (400) and Michael Okoro (200) on a day in which two relays set school records
Senior Erica Chaney won the discus for her second title in as many days as she helped the Eastern Washington University women’s track and field team to a best-ever third-place finish Saturday (May 14) at the 2011 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
Chaney, who won the shot put with a school-record performance one day earlier, won the discus on Saturday. Brad Wall (400) and Michael Okoro (200) also won titles as the Eastern men finished fourth -- just one place behind their best-ever finish.
Eastern’s women, whose best previous finish was fourth last season, finished with 79 points. The only teams ahead of the Eagles were team champion Sacramento State (236) and runner-up Montana (133), while Montana State finished six points behind EWU in fourth.
The Eastern men’s team finished with 96 points. Host Sacramento State also won the men’s team title (204 1/2), followed by Northern Arizona (167) and Montana State (116 1/2)
A total of nine Eastern student-athletes won All-Big Sky Conference honors (top three finish) in the Big Sky meet, including six on Saturday. In addition, two Eastern relay teams had top-three finishes, and two relays set school records.
“This was very exciting,” said Eastern women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the performances. The team really hung in there until the end. I’m very pleased with the team.”
Chaney won the shot put on her final throw the day before, but in the discus the opposite happened. She had a throw of 155-4 on her first throw -- just two inches off her career best set last season -- and that mark held up for the win by over a foot over the runner-up.
“This was a great way for Erica to end her Big Sky Conference championship career,” Mecklenburg said. “Her performance couldn’t have gone much better. For her to pull-off the win in the discus is especially exciting.”
Wall had a time of 46.93 to win the 400, and Okoro won the 200 with clocking of 21.38 and placed fourth in the 100 with a 10.72 time -- 10th-best in school history. Those two runners joined Alex Flores and Kurt Williams to place second in the 4x100 relay with a 40.46 time, breaking the 28-year-old school record of 40.9 set in 1983.
In addition, Chelsea Lawhead, Nicole Nida, Angelica Rodriguez and Lauren Matthews set a school record in the 4x400 relay with a 3:47.43 time. Although they placed just sixth, they broke the previous record of 3:48.01 set in 1999. The men’s 4x400 relay team was third with a time of 3:13.73, which ranks sixth all-time at EWU.
Also earning All-Big Sky honors for the Eagle women were senior Krystal Deyo, who placed third in the women’s 100 with an 11.96 time, and Olivia Midles, who was second in the hammer with a mark of 181-2. Others earning All-BSC honors for the men included Stephen Praast, who was second in the men’s high jump with an effort of 6-6 3/4, and Aaron Mettler in the javelin with a 214-4 third-place performance.
Deyo, who placed fourth in the long jump one day earlier, also ran a leg on the 4x100 relay team, which finished fifth with a time of 47.62. However, Brianna Okoro suffered an injury to his Achilles during the race, hampering EWU’s time and making her unavailable to defend her Big Sky title in the 200 meters.
In all, Deyo and Chaney combined for 12 All-Big Sky accolades for EWU at Big Sky indoor and outdoor championship meets in their careers, including eight by Chaney and four by Deyo.
“Krystal also capped off her career in a great way,” added Mecklenburg. “These seniors will be hard to replace. It will be hard to be competitive without them.”
Other scorers for the women Saturday included Emma Murillo (fifth in the discus, 145-5), Morena Mannuci (sixth in the triple jump, 39-7) and Whitney Leavitt (sixth in the 100, 12.35). The list of other men’s scorers included Adam Stewart (fourth in the high jump, 6-6 3/4), Williams (fourth in the triple jump, 47-10 1/2), Jon Buchanan (fifth in the shot put, 52-9 1/4), Andre Moore (sixth in the triple jump, 46-8), Flores (sixth in the 200, 21.89 and eighth in the 100, 10.91), Kramer Green (eighth in the 400 hurdles, 54.92), Praast (eighth in the triple jump, 46-2 3/4) and Efrain Sanchez (eighth in the pole vault, 15-5)
Eastern Women’s Results (Saturday):
Hammer: 2. Olivia Midles, 181-2; 11. Erica Chaney, 152-9; 12. Vania Tauvela, 152-6.
Discus: 1. Erica Chaney, 155-4; 5. Emma Murillo, 145-5; 16. Vania Tauvela, 111-10.
Triple Jump: 6. Morena Mannuci, 39-7; 13. Elise Jepsen, 35-4 1/2.
4x100 Relay: 5th, 47.62.
100: 3. Krystal Deyo, 11.96; 6. Whitney Leavitt, 12.35.
5000: 11. Amy Kolin, 17:40.00.
4x400 Relay: 6th, 3:47.43.
Eastern Men’s Results Saturday:
Shot Put: 5. Jon Buchanan, 52-9 1/4; 10. Marlyn Anderson, 50-10 3/4; 13. Cody Humphrey, 49-1 3/4.
High Jump: 2. Stephen Praast, 6-6 3/4; 4. Adam Stewart, 6-6 3/4; Kersee Lind, No Height.
Pole Vault: 8. Efrain Sanchez, 15-5; Kersee Lind, No Height.
Triple Jump: 4. Kurt Williams, 47-10 1/2; 6. Andre Moore, 46-8; 8. Stephen Praast, 46-2 3/4.
Javelin: 3. Aaron Mettler, 214-4.
4x100 Relay: 2nd, 40.46.
1500: 9. Simon Sorenson, 3:56.62.
400: 1. Brad Wall, 46.93.
100: 4. Michael Okoro, 10.72; 8. Alex Flores, 10.91.
400 Hurdles: 8. Kramer Green, 54.92.
200: 1. Michael Okoro, 21.38; 6. Alex Flores, 21.89.
5000: 16. Bowe Ebding, 14:59.65.
4x400 Relay: 3rd, 3:13.73.