Eastern has six all-conference performers in Friday’s action at BSC Championships
The Eastern Washington University opened up the third day of the Big Sky Outdoor Championships by grabbing top-three spots in the team standings as well as six All-Big Sky Conference performances and a number of other marks with scoring implications in Forest Grove, Ore., Friday (May 10). In team standings, the Eagle women sit first and the men sit third going into the final day of competition.
“It’s totally awesome that we’re leading,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “That’s definitely providing some momentum for our athletes. It’s going to propel us for some more great performances.”
“I’m really proud of the team,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “The efforts that were put out individually I couldn’t be prouder. The physical and mental approach people brought in today worked excellent.”
Keisa Monterola defended her Big Sky title in the pole vault with a winning effort of 13-3 1/2. Her teammate Robin Taylor finished second with a jump of 12-11 1/2, marking the second consecutive season the pair has gone one, two outdoors. Freshman Anandae Clark was eighth with a mark of 11-9 3/4.
“Kudos to Keisa for pulling off a great meet when we needed her to,” said Mecklenburg. “I’m really excited for those two and that was a big statement from them going one, two again.”
Sophomore Jordan Arakawa placed second in the hammer throw with a toss of 208-4. Zack Nielsen took fourth in the event with a throw of 187-08 and Jon Buchanan placed seventh with his mark of 180-0.
“That was an outstanding effort by that trio,” said Kerr. “Jordan has had a sensational outdoor season and it certainly isn’t over. Each of those guys competed very well and did a great job at executing.”
In the women’s hammer throw, Eastern nabbed two more all-conference performers as Olivia Midles had a throw of 180-10 for a second-place finish. Emma Murillo came in third with a personal best of 180-5, a mark that ranks fourth in school history.
“Those two came in and just competed,” said Mecklenburg. “They were really determined and you couldn’t have asked for a better competition in that hammer. I’m very proud of those two.”
Competing in her first outdoor conference meet, redshirt freshman Katie Mahoney finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, re-breaking her school record with a time of 10:28.52.
“I was so excited for Katie, you never know what’s going to happen with distance events in the Big Sky because it’s so tough. She has an awesome and impressive future ahead of her,” said Mecklenburg.
Phil Puccino cleared a personal-best height of 6-9 in the high jump, good for fourth overall.
“That was a lifetime memory for Phil,” said Kerr. “We turned him loose and he’s been on a great roll lately. He was able to focus and produced some great points for us.”
Senior Brianna Okoro leaped a season best of 19-0 in the long jump to place fourth, just missing all-conference honors by over an inch.
EWU had three scorers in the men’s shot put, as senior Marlyn Anderson had a toss of 53-5 3/4 to take fourth. Cody Humphrey reached a distance 52-2 3/4 to place fifth and Buchanan had his second seventh-place finish on the day with a mark of 51-5 3/4.
Vince Hamilton ran a time of 31:37.16 in the 10,000 meters, finishing fifth.
“Vince made the race very entertaining and he grabbed us some solid points in a difficult event to score in,” said Kerr.
Morgan Romey threw a personal best of 46-2 in the shot put to place sixth overall. That is the fifth-best mark all-time at Eastern.
“Morgan moved up and contributed some much-needed points,” said Mecklenbug. “She continued following the trend of moving up in the ranking.’
Sophomore Brad Michael and Senior Brad Wall qualified for the finals in the 400 as each of them won their prelim heat in times of 47.70 and 47.89, respectively. Michael and Wall are ranked first and second heading into the finals.
“The Brads are performing at a championship level and are looking to stand on those top two spots on the podium,” said Kerr. “They have worked their tails off and are both very confident heading into the final.”
Steven Warner advanced to finals in the 110 hurdles after placing second in his heat with a time of 14.43, which is the third-fastest time heading into tomorrow.
“Steven is a guy who has been a bit fragile this year, but he perseveres and knows the championships are about competing regardless of the circumstances. He rose above and is sitting in a great position,” said Kerr.
Junior Martha Sanford ran a personal-best time of 1:03.63 in the 400 hurdles to qualify for finals.
Kramer Green grabbed the eighth and final qualifying spot in the 400 hurdles, hitting a personal best of 53.49 to rank 10th in school history.
Eastern’s women hold the lead in the team standings with 49 points. Sacramento State is second with 36.5. The EWU men are currently in a tie with Northern Arizona for third with 35 points. Weber State’s men currently top the standings with 47.5 points and Sacramento State following in second with 40.5.
The final day of the BSC Championships will kick off Saturday (May 11), with the field events starting at 10:30 am and the track events kicking off at noon.
“It’s been a great team effort so far and I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Mecklenburg. “Every point counts and everybody is performing wonderfully.”