Eastern to face rival Montana in annual home dual meet
The Eastern Washington University track and field teams will kick off the 2013-2014 indoor season Friday and Saturday (Dec. 6-7), as they host the sixth-annual Candy Cane Invite at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash.
“Each year we feel like the meet is involving and that remains true this year,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “It’s a great meet on a lot of different levels.”
“This is an opportunity for our athletes to see what they’ve accomplished from fall training,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “It’s a great time for them to have fun and see where they’re at.”
The competition will primarily be a dual-meet between the Eagles and the University of Montana Grizzlies. There is no admission charge.
“It’s always fun to go against Montana because they tend to be competitive in events we’re also competitive in,” said Mecklenburg. “I can’t tell you how many times one point has separated us with Montana in terms of team standings at conference, so we’re always in the mix with them.”
The meet begins Friday with the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon starting at 10:30 a.m. The men will conclude the heptathlon Saturday with the first of the final three events starting at 8:30 a.m.
The regular portion of the meet will take place Saturday with field events beginning at 11 a.m. The running events start at 12:30 p.m. In addition to the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles, the one-mile run has also been added to the list of running events offered at the meet.
Over 30 Eagle athletes are scheduled to compete, with marks counting towards the qualifying standards for the Big Sky Indoor Championships on Feb 27-28 in Pocatello, Idaho.
“The upperclassmen know they can qualify and go into the winter break with a conference standard,” said Kerr. “For the freshman, it’s a good chance for them to get their orientation to Division-I track and field.”
In last year’s Candy Cane Invite, six Eastern individuals qualified for the BSC Championships. The Eagle men defeated Montana in dual-scoring 45-30, while the Eagle women were beaten by the Grizzlies 61-36.
“This isn’t a high volume meet, but the caliber of athletes from both programs translates to an excellent competition,” said Kerr. “We’ll see numerous qualifiers in a lot of events, I’m certain.”