Eastern hits six conference standards, shakes up record books at home meet
Competing at home outdoors for the first time in nearly two years, the Eastern Washington University track and field teams grabbed six more Big Sky Conference qualifying marks, had 18 event-winners and also put together several historic performances at the 43rd Annual Pelluer Invitational on Saturday (April 12) in Cheney, Wash.
On the women’s side, Olivia Midles uncorked a personal best of 195-10 to win the hammer throw. That mark continues to rank second in school history, but Midles is closing in on the school record of 199-8 set in 2010 by Nicole Luckenbach.
Kelsie Forcier also had a personal best of 180-9, placing second and moving up to the No. 4 spot all-time at Eastern. She wasn’t done there however, as she placed second in the shot put with a Big Sky qualifying mark of 45-7 1/2. That mark ranks sixth in school history and also makes Forcier a triple qualifier for the Big Sky Championships (discus, hammer).
Emma Murillo was third in the hammer with a conference qualifying toss of 179-11, joining Forcier as a triple qualifier on the season (javelin, discus). Vania Tauvela had a throw of 165-6 in the hammer to place fifth and book her ticket to the conference meet.
Morgan Romey won the shot put, unleashing a personal-best throw of 48-6 1/4 and moving up to third all-time at Eastern.
Freshman Samantha Baker qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the javelin, getting off a throw of 139-9 1/2 to place fourth.
Anandae Clark (first) and Courtney Bray (second) each cleared outdoor-personal bests of 12-4 in the pole vault, which ranks sixth in school history.
Whitney Leavitt (200, 25.54), Angelica Rodriguez (400, 58.48), Katie Mahoney (800, 2:17.73) each also grabbed wins for the Eastern women. Both the women’s 4x100 (47.43) and 4x400 relays (3:59.26) raced to wins as well.
For the men, Jon Buchanan won the shot put (56-10) and placed third in the hammer (193-5), reaching personal bests that rank fifth and 10th all-time at Eastern.
Kyle Caviezel sprinted to a win in the 100 with a personal best of 10.77, a time that meets the Big Sky standard. Obinna Nnadi was second in 10.92, also a personal best.
Jordan Arakawa had a throw of 216-8 to win the hammer, while Zack Nielsen broke the 200-foot plateau for the first time in his career with a new personal best of 200-11 to place second. Nielsen moved up to fifth in school history with that mark. He wasn’t done there, as he won the discus with a toss of 161-11.
Freshman Trenton Osborn made the most out of his debut in the triple jump, winning the event with a Big Sky qualifying distance of 45-6 1/2. He also had a collegiate best of 23-4 1/2 in the long jump, placing first.
Steven Warner ran a seasonal-best time of 14.50 in the 110 hurdles, winning the event and edging the runner-up by a millisecond.
Brad Michael and Austin Upmeyer had a one-two finish in the 400, but their times were not recorded due to an error in the timing system. Those two joined Collin Green and Kramer Green on the winning 4x400 relay team, which ran a time of 3:21.24.
Quin Olivas rallied for a win in the 800, clocking a time of 1:57.21 and setting a new collegiate best.
In dual-team scoring, Montana prevailed in both genders. The Grizzly men scored 97 points to Eastern’s 88, while the Montana women finished with 94.5 over the Eagles’ 84.5.
Eastern now has 31 conference qualifying marks on the season, with 20 for the women and 11 for the men. The Big Sky Outdoor Championships are nearly a month away on May 14-17 in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The Eagles will be heading back to California next weekend, as they get set to take on extremely competitive fields in the Mt. SAC Relays (April 16-19) in Walnut, Calif., and the Beach Invitational (April 18-19) in Cerritos, Calif.