EWU Gears Up for Mt. SAC Relays and Beach Invitational

Eagles hoping to add to list of 33 conference qualifying marks as they travel to California for two high caliber meets

The Eastern Washington University track and field team is entering a highly competitive weekend as it heads south to California to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18-20 and the Beach Invitational on April 19-20.

The 55th annual Mt. SAC Relays is the more prestigious of the two meets and is held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif. The stature of the meet helped develop its slogan, “Where the world’s best athletes compete,” as it attracts thousands of talented athletes year in and year out.

“Mt. SAC is traditionally the opening meet for Olympians and it’s exciting to see collegiate athletes compete against them,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “It’s a great atmosphere for our athletes and the competition is stacked. If you can’t get excited for this meet, then I’m not sure you’re in the right sport.”

“Any time you have the opportunity to compete against some of the best athletes in the nation it’s really going to give you some experience that will be great for our athletes down the road,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg.

The Beach Invitational is held at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif., and hosted by Long Beach State.

“Long Beach will also be a really high quality meet with big numbers, great athletes and warm weather,” said Mecklenburg, “Hopefully those elements will work together for us so we can have some great performances.”

“The Beach Invitational is outstanding with reliable competition and that’s one of the reasons we keep going back,” said Kerr. “It’s also very spectator friendly, which bodes well for our team atmosphere and support at the meet.”

Athletes not making the trip to the California will have the opportunity to compete close to home, as the second annual Whitworth Twilight Invitational will be contested Thursday (April 18) in Spokane, Wash.

EWU has strung together 33 Big Sky Conference qualifying marks on the season, with the men hitting 19 and the women grabbing 14. The 2013 BSC Outdoor Championships will be held in Forest Grove, Ore., on May 8-11.

“We have so many athletes who are right on the bubble of qualifying,” said Mecklenburg, “We have the potential, depth and quality to get even more qualifying marks.”

Collegiate action at the Mt. SAC Relays begins Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Men’s Qualifiers/Records

Big Sky Championships – May 8-11– Portland, Ore.
NCAA Championships Preliminary Round – May 23-25 – Austin, Texas
NCAA Championships – June 5-8 – Eugene, Ore.
School Records Broken: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 19 (New: Three- Lemafa HT, Alnassim HT, Pratt JT)

Steven Warner – 110 hurdles – 14.48 – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’09)
Brad Wall
– 400 meters – 47.72 – Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS ‘08)
Kramer Green – 400 hurdles – 54.76 – Buckley, Wash. (White River HS ’10)
Jordan Arakawa – Hammer Throw – 211-1 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Marlyn Anderson – Shot Put – 56-6 3/4 – Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS ’09)
Joey Payne – Javelin – 205-9 – Richland, Wash. (Richland HS ’12)
Nick Stearns – Pole Vault – 15-5 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Phil Puccino – High Jump – 6-6 3/4 – Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ’10/Coffeyville CC)
Phil Puccino – Triple Jump – 47-11 1/4 – Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ’10/Coffeyville CC)
Brad Michael – 400 meters – 47.69 – Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’11)
Zack Nielsen – Hammer Throw – 190-1 – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’09)
Jon Buchanan – Hammer Throw – 184-11 – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Cody Humphrey – Shot Put – 53-9 3/4 – Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’09)
Brad Wall – 200 meters – 21.88 – Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS ’08)
Jon Buchanan
– Shot Put – 53-11 – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Cody Humphrey – Discus – 157-5 – Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’09)
Shaun Lemafa – Hammer Throw – 175-2 – Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS ’09/Clackamas CC)
Jaime Alnassim – Hammer Throw – 181-7 – Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS ‘10/Spokane CC)
Max Pratt – Javelin – 188-5 – Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS ’11)

Women’s Qualifiers/Records

Big Sky Championships – May 8-11– Portland, Ore.
NCAA Championships Preliminary Round – May 23-25 – Austin, Texas
NCAA Championships – June 5-8 – Eugene, Ore.
School Records Broken: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 14 (New: One- Rodriguez 400)

Michelle Coombs – Javelin – 155-4 – Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’08)
Cora Kellerman – Javelin – 143-6 – La Conner, Wash. (La Conner HS ’08)
Kacie Seims – Javelin – 137-3 – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’12)
Emma Murillo – Javelin – 134-10 – Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS ’10)
Emma Murillo – Discus Throw – 149-6 – Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS ’10)
Anandae Clark – Pole Vault – 12-3 1/2 – Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside HS ’12)
Olivia Midles – Hammer Throw – 178-4 – Olympia , Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Elise Jepsen – High Jump – 5-5 – Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin HS ’09)
Katie Mahoney – 3,000 Steeplechase - 11:03.52 – Richland, Wash. (Richland HS ’11)
Emma Murillo – Hammer Throw – 171-10 – Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS ’10)
Vania Tauvela – Hammer Throw – 163-7 – Orting, Wash. (Orting HS ’09)
Robin Taylor – Pole Vault – 12-9 1/2 – Blaine, Wash. (Blaine HS ’10)
Morena Mannucci – Triple Jump – 37-9 1/4 – Rome, Italy (Anco Marzio HS ’10)
Angelica Rodriguez – 400 meters – 56.59 – Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’10)

RETURNING ALL-BIG SKY ATHLETES

The following Eagle athletes have earned All-Big Sky Conference honors (top three finish) in previous Big Sky Conference track and field championships (indoors and outdoors):

Jonathan Buchanan – (2011 Indoors: 3rd in shot put)
Brad Michael – (2013 Indoors: 2nd in 400;2012 Outdoors: 3rd in 400; 2012 Indoors: 2nd in 400, 3rd in 200)
Zack Nielsen – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in weight throw)
Michael Okoro (2011 Outdoors: Champion in 200)
Phillip Puccino – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in triple jump)
Nick Stearns – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in pole vault)
Brad Wall – (2012 Indoors: 3rd in 400; 2011 Outdoors: Champion in 400; 2011 Indoors: Champion in 400; 2010 Outdoors: Champion in 400)
Steven Warner (2012 Outdoors: 3rd in 110 hurdles; 2012 Indoors: Champion in 60 hurdles)
4x400 Relay (2011 Outdoors: 3rd/Michael Okoro, Kramer Green, Collin Green, Brad Wall; 2012 Indoors: Champion/Collin Green, Michael Okoro, Brad Michael, Brad Wall)
4x100 Relay (2011 Outdoors: 2nd/Alex Flores, Michael Okoro, Kurt Williams, Brad Wall)
Jordan Arakawa – (2013 Indoors: 2nd in weight throw)
Marlyn Anderson – (2013 Indoors: 3rd in shot put)

Michelle Coombs – (2012 Outdoors: 2nd in Javelin; 2009 Outdoors: Champion in Javelin)
Keisa Monterola  - (2012 Outdoors: Champion in pole vault; 2012 Indoors: Champion in pole vault)
Olivia Midles – (2011 Outdoors: 2nd in hammer throw)
Brianna Okoro - (2011 Outdoors: 3rd in long jump; 2010 Outdoors: Champion in 200, 3rd in 100, 3rd in long jump)
Robin Taylor – (2012 Outdoors: 2nd in pole vault)
Elise Jepsen – (2012 Outdoors: 3rd in high jump)
4x400 Relay – (2012 Indoors: 2nd/Whitney Leavitt, Nicole Nida, Angelica Rodriguez, Chelsea Lawhead)
Emma Murillo – (2013 Indoors: 3rd in weight throw)

SEASON NOTES

Big Sky Conference Preseason Polls  Voting is calculated with each team receiving 11 points for a first place vote, 10 points for a second place vote, etc. Coaches are allowed to vote for their respective teams. Below are the final results with the number of first place votes in parenthesis.

Men's Poll 

Team, Points
Northern Arizona, 120 – (10 first-place votes)
Montana State, 104 – (one first-place vote)
Sacramento State, 97
Weber State, 94
Southern Utah, 66
Montana, 59
Eastern Washington, 57
Idaho State, 55
Northern Colorado, 27
North Dakota, 24
Portland State, 23

Women's Poll 

Team, Points
Sacramento State, 119 – (nine first-place votes)
Portland State, 96 – (one first-place vote)
Weber State, 82
Montana State, 82
Idaho State, 78
Northern Arizona, 75 (one first-place vote)
Southern Utah, 66
Montana, 53
Eastern Washington, 41
Northern Colorado, 21
North Dakota, 16

TOP SEASON PERFORMANCES

Jordan Arakawa – Throws – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Arakawa broke the 200-feet mark for the first time in his career, hitting a mark of 208-1 in the hammer throw at the Al Manuel Invite to place first. He improved on that distance at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite wit h a winning throw of 211-1. That mark sits atop the conference and ranks second in school history. He was named men’s field athlete of the week by the Big Sky for the week of April 2 and April 16.

Brad Wall – Sprints – Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS ’08)
Wall has qualified in two events on the season. His season best of 47.72 in the 400 came at the Al Manuel Invitational, where he placed first. He qualified in the 200 at the All-Idaho Cup with a time of 21.88.  Wall is the school record holder (46.67) and a three-time conference champion in the 400.

Steven Warner – Hurdles – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’09)
Warner ran a time of 14.48 in the 110 hurdles at the Al Manuel Invitational to place second. He qualified for the event two weeks earlier at the Dusty Lane Open. Warner was third in the event at the 2012 BSC Outdoor Championships.

Marlyn Anderson – Throws – Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS ’09)
Anderson hit an outdoor personal best in the shot put at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite, getting off a toss of 56-6 3/4 to rank fifth in school history. He was third indoors in the event with a personal-best toss of 56-11 1/4.

Kramer Green – Sprints/Hurdles – Buckley, Wash. (White River HS ’10)
Green qualified for the BSC Championships in the 400 hurdles, running a time of 54.85 at the Dusty Lane Open to place second. He improved on that time at the All-Idaho Cup, running 54.76.

Joey Payne – Throws – Richland, Wash. (Richland HS ’12)
In his first meet as an Eagle at the Dusty Lane Open, freshman Payne got off a throw of 205-9 in the javelin to qualify for the BSC Championships.

Nick Stearns – Pole Vault – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
At the Dusty Lane Open, Stearns cleared the bar at 15-5 in the pole vault, fulfilling the conference standard and placing second in the event.

Phil Puccino – Jumps - Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ’10/Coffeyville CC)
Puccino, coming off of a redshirt season indoors, qualified in two events in his first meet back with the Eagles. He had personal bests in both the triple jump (47-11 1/4) and high jump (6-6 3/4).

Brad Michael – Sprints - Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’11)
Michael took first in the 400 at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite, running a time of 47.69. He had already qualified a few weeks earlier at the Al Manuel Invite.

Zack Nielsen – Throws - Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’09)
Nielsen hit a personal best in the hammer throw at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite, reaching a distance of 190-1 to place second.

Cody Humphrey – Throws - Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’09)
Humphrey hit a big personal best of 53-9 3/4 in the shot put at the Al Manuel Invite, a mark that now ranks fourth among the Big Sky. He qualified in the discus at the Sam Adams Classic with a toss of 157-5.

Jon Buchanan – Throws - Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Buchanan, the captain of the throws, has qualified in two events this season. He hit a personal best of 184-11 in the hammer throw at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite. Buchanan also had a season best toss of 53-11 in the shot put at the All-Idaho Cup.

Men’s 4x400 relay (Kramer Green, Collin Green, Brad Michael, Brad Wall)
The group of Greens/Brads ran away with the win in the 4x400 relay at the All-Idaho Cup, clocking a time of 3:12.44. That time sits first in the conference this season and also ranks fourth in school history.

Jaime Alnassim – Throws – Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS ’10/Spokane CC)
Competing as the lone Eagle at the WWU Ralph Vernacchia Invite, Alnassim cleared the Big Sky standard in the hammer with a toss of 181-7.

Shaun Lemafa – Throws – Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS ‘09/Clackamas CC)
Lemafa qualified for the BSC Championships in the hammer throw with a mark of 175-2 at the WAR VI.

Max Pratt – Throws – Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS ’11)
After flirting with the Big Sky standard for the javelin in the previous two competitions, Pratt reached it at the WAR VI with a throw of 188-5, placing eighth.

Michelle Coombs – Throws – Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’08)
Coombs, competing in her final season for EWU, threw a season best of 155-4 in the javelin at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite to place first. She was second in the event at last year’s championships.

Cora Kellerman – Throws – La Conner, Wash. (La Conner HS ’08)
Bringing her talents over from the volleyball team at Eastern,  Kellerman qualified for the BSC Championships in the javelin with a personal-best throw of 143-6 at the Dusty Lane Open.

Anandae Clark – Pole Vault – Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside HS ’12)
The true freshman opened up her first outdoor season as an Eagle with a Big Sky qualifying mark of 12-3 1/2 in the pole vault at the Dusty Lane Open. She placed first with that mark and also moved into sixth all-time at Eastern.

Emma Murillo – Throws – Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS ’10)
Murillo has qualified for the BSC Championships in three different events. She hit personal bests in the hammer (171-10, sixth in school history) and discus (149-6) at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite. She also had a season-best throw of 142-10 in the javelin at the Al Manuel Invite.

Kacie Seims – Throws – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’12)
Competing in the red and white for the first time , Seims hit a Big Sky qualifying mark in the javelin with a throw of 137-3 at the Dusty Lane Open.

Olivia Midles – Throws – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Midles had a season best in the hammer throw of 178-4 at the UNLV Randall Cunningham Invite, a mark that placed her second in the competition.

Elise Jepsen – Jumps – Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin HS ’09)
The senior qualified in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5-5 to place second in the Dusty Lane Open.

Katie Mahoney – Distance - Richland, Wash. (Richland HS ’11)
In Mahoney’s very first outdoor meet as an Eagle, she nearly broke the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, running a time of 11:03.52 to rank third in EWU school history, just over a second behind the school record of 11:02.29. She has also come close to qualifying in both the 1,500 (4:38.46) and 800 (2:15.40), but has still walked away with some top ten marks (eighth- 800, ninth-1,500).

Vania Tauvela – Throws - Orting, Wash. (Orting HS ’09)
Tauvela qualified for the BSC Championships in the hammer, having a throw of 162-0 at the Al Manuel Invitational. She hit a personal best of 163-7 at the All-Idaho Cup.

Robin Taylor – Pole Vault - Blaine, Wash. (Blaine HS ’10)
Taylor won the pole vault at the Al Manuel Invitational, clearing the bar at 12-9 1/2 to qualify for the BSC Championships.

Morena Mannucci – Jumps – Rome, Italy (Anco Marzio HS ’10)
Mannucci, who is coming off a redshirt season indoors, qualified for the triple jump in her second meet back with the Eagles, getting a jump of 37-9 1/4 at the All-Idaho Cup.

Angelica Rodriguez – Sprints – Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’10)
Rodriguez hit the Big Sky qualifying standard in the 400, running a time of 56.59 at the WAR VI to place second at book her ticket to the conference meet.

LINKS

PDF Link to Fact Book: http://www.goeags.com/sports/c-track/2012-13/Files/2012-13TFFactBook.pdf
EWU Track and Field - http://goeags.com/sports/c-track/index
Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field - http://www.bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?path=otf&
NCAA Track and Field - http://www.ncaa.com
Big Sky Direct Athletics Performance List - http://www.directathletics.com/leagues/track/63.html
TFRRS- Track & Field Results Reporting System - http://www.tfrrs.org
USTFCCCA- U.S. Track & Field & Cross Country Coaches Association - http://www.ustfccca.org/

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