February 4, 2014

Track & Field Returns to Kibbie Dome for Vandal Indoor/Open

Eastern has second-to-last opportunity to attain Big Sky qualifying marks In Moscow

The Eastern Washington University track and field teams will travel to Idaho for the third-straight weekend to compete in two different meets including the 38th Annual Vandal Indoor Friday (Feb. 7) and the Vandal Open Saturday (Feb. 8) at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho.

“I feel like were taking momentum from last weekend that will carry us into this meet,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “I think that sets a great tone for an excellent competition.”

The Vandal Indoor, which claims the slogan “Where the Best in the Northwest Prove It”, is the more exclusive meet of the weekend with field events limited to two flights and track events being limited to three heats. The Vandal Open will have much larger fields as it features collegiate, unattached and high school athletes.

“The Vandal Indoor is more exclusive than inclusive,” said Kerr. “Our athletes going in know that positions at this meet are earned there.”

Eastern currently has 18 men and 18 women entered in the Vandal Indoor Friday. The majority of the other athletes will compete at the Open Saturday.

“I think we’re just going to get better,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “We’re gaining experience as far as meets and training go and we should be in good shape to get some improved marks across the board.”

The Eagles have collected a total of 25 Big Sky qualifying marks on the season, with 13 for the men and 12 for the women. The Vandal Indoor/Open will be the Eagles’ second-to-last opportunity to reach standards for the Big Sky Indoor Championships on Feb. 27- March 1 in Pocatello, Idaho.

“Our marks are steadily improving and we are always fine-tuning that,” said Kerr. “I think our younger athletes as well as our seasoned veterans are each determined to perform at a higher level.”

The Vandal Indoor begins Friday with the field events kicking off at 4:30 p.m. and the track events starting at 5 p.m. Saturday’s action in the Kibbie Dome is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m.

“Each week you’re a week better and more improved,” said Mecklenburg. “As we move along we’ll continue to get more qualifiers because each athlete is just a little more experienced.”

Men’s Qualifiers/Records

Big Sky Championships – Feb. 27- Mar. 1– Pocatello, Idaho
NCAA Championships – Mar. 14-15 – Albuquerque, N.M.
School Records Broken: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 13 (New: Two – Michael 400, Puccino LJ)

Nick Stearns
– Pole Vault – 16-2 3/4 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Nick Stearns – Heptathlon – 4,729 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Jon Buchanan – Shot Put – 55-7 – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Trenton Osborn – Long Jump – 23-2 – East Wenatchee, Wash. (Eastmont HS ’13)
Phil Puccino – High Jump – 6-8 – Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ‘10/Coffeyville CC)
Steven Warner – 60 hurdles – 8.10 – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’09)
Phil Puccino – Triple Jump – 47-0 1/4 – Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ‘10/Coffeyville CC)
Zack Nielsen – Weight Throw – 62-3 3/4 – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’09)
Jordan Arakawa – Weight Throw – 66-1 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Jon Buchanan – Weight Throw – 58-10 1/4 – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Shaun Lemafa – Weight Throw – 56-4 – Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS ‘09/Clackamas CC)
Brad Michael – 400 meters – 48.95 – Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’11)
Phil Puccino – Long Jump – 23-4 – Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ‘10/Coffeyville CC)

Women’s Qualifiers/Records

Big Sky Championships – Feb. 27- Mar. 1– Pocatello, Idaho
NCAA Championships – Mar. 14-15 – Albuquerque, N.M.
School Records Broken: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 12 (New: Five – Reiter 3K/5K, Penaloza 3K/5K, Romey SP)

Olivia Midles – Weight Throw – 55-5 3/4 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Vania Tauvela – Weight Throw – 54-10 – Orting, Wash. (Orting HS ’09)
Keisa Monterola – Pole Vault – 13-5 1/4 – Caracus, Venezuela (Licro Caracas HS ‘06/Clackamas CC)
Courtney Bray – Pole Vault – 12-5 1/2 – Mead, Wash. (Mt. Spokane HS ’13)
Paula Gil-Echevarria – Mile – 4:58.92 – Madrid, Spain
Morena Mannucci – Triple Jump – 37-10 1/2 – Rome, Italy (Anco Marzio HS ’10)
Emma Murillo – Weight Throw – 55-2 – Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS ’10)
Sarah Reiter – 5,000 meters – 17:26.65 – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ‘12/Montana State)
Sarah Reiter – 3,000 meters – (Cross-Qualified in 5,000) – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ‘12/Montana State)
Berenice Penaloza – 5,000 meters – 17:30.04 – Yakima, Wash. (Eisenhower HS ’11)
Berenice Penaloza – 3,000 meters – (Cross-Qualified in 5,000)  – Yakima, Wash. (Eisenhower HS ’11)
Morgan Romey – Shot Put – 44-6 – Mica, Wash. (Freeman HS ’11)

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):

Jon Buchanan – (2011 Indoors: 3rd in shot put)
Brad Michael – (2013 Outdoors: 3rd in 400; 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)
Phil Puccino – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in triple jump; 2012 Indoors: 3rd in triple jump)
Nick Stearns – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in pole vault; 2012 Indoors: 3rd in pole vault)
Steven Warner (2012 Outdoors: 3rd in 110 hurdles; 2012 Indoors: Champion in 60 hurdles)
4x400 Relay (2013 Outdoors: 2nd/Kramer Green, Nick Olsson, Brad Michael, Brad Wall; 2012 Indoors: Champion/Collin Green, Michael Okoro, Brad Michael, Brad Wall; 2011 Outdoors: 3rd/Michael Okoro, Kramer Green, Collin Green, Brad Wall)
Jordan Arakawa – (2013 Indoors: 2nd in weight throw)
Joey Payne – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in javelin)

Keisa Monterola  - (2013 Outdoors: Champion in pole vault; 2012 Outdoors: Champion in pole vault; 2012 Indoors: Champion in pole vault)
Olivia Midles – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in hammer throw; 2011 Outdoors: 2nd in hammer throw)
Robin Taylor – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in pole vault; 2012 Outdoors: 2nd in pole vault)
4x400 Relay – (2012 Indoors: 2nd/Whitney Leavitt, Nicole Nida, Angelica Rodriguez, Chelsea Lawhead)
Emma Murillo – (2013 Outdoors: 3rd in hammer throw; 2013 Indoors: 3rd in weight throw)
Katie Mahoney – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in 3,000 steeplechase)

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)
Weber State, 98
Sacramento State, 94
Montana State, 90
Southern Utah, 70
Eastern Washington, 67
Montana, 61 (one first-place vote)
Idaho State, 57
North Dakota, 26
Portland State, 23
Northern Colorado, 20

Women's Poll 

Team, Points
Sacramento State, 113 – (six first-place votes)
Northern Arizona, 99 (one first-place vote)
Weber State, 95 (three first-place votes)
Portland State, 79 (one first-place vote)
Montana State, 76
Montana, 64
Idaho State, 60
Southern Utah, 59
Eastern Washington, 46
Northern Colorado, 20
North Dakota, 15

NATIONALLY-RANKED EAGLES – Eastern has five men and four women currently sitting in the top 100 nationally (Division I). Keisa Monterola ranks 21st in the pole vault (13-5 1/2) and Courtney Bray sits 81st (12-5 1/2). In the 5,000, Sarah Reiter is 77th (17:26.65) and Berenice Penaloza is 86th (17:30.04). On the men’s side, Jordan Arakawa ranks 23rd in the weight throw (66-1) and Zack Nielsen sits 60th (62-3 3/4). Nick Stearns is 82nd in the heptathlon (4,753), Steven Warner is 91st in the 60-meter hurdles (8.10) and Jon Buchanan ranks 92nd in the shot put (55-7).

BIG SKY LEADERS – Eastern currently leads the Big Sky in four events on the season: the men’s 4x400 relay (Collin Green, Kramer Green, Austin Upmeyer, Brad Michael – 3:16.35), Phil Puccino in the long jump (23-2), Jordan Arakawa in the weight throw (66-1) and Keisa Monterola in the pole vault (13-5 1/4).

TOP SEASON PERFORMANCES

Men

Nick Stearns – Jumps/Multi.  – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Stearns competed in his first career heptathlon and finished in great fashion, qualifying for the Big Sky Championships with a score of 4,729 at the Candy Cane VI Invite to rank fifth in school history. His top scoring event was the pole vault in which he had a clearance of 15-9, also hitting a conference standard. Stearns’ next best scoring event was the 55 hurdles, running 8.11 for 806 points. At the Ed Jacoby Invitational, Stearns cleared an indoor personal best of 16-2 3/4 in the pole vault during the heptathlon competition.

Jon Buchanan – Throws – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)
Buchanan uncorked a personal best of 55-7 in the shot put at the UW Indoor Preview, placing third overall. He also had a qualifying toss of 58-10 1/4 in the weight throw at the Candy Cane VI, placing third and completing a 1, 2, 3 sweep in the event for Eastern. Those marks rank Buchanan ninth in the shot put and 10th in the weight throw all-time at Eastern.

Phil Puccino – Jumps – Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ‘10/Coffeyville CC)
Puccino has qualified in the triple, long and high jump this season. He cleared the bar at 6-8 to place second at the Candy Cane VI. At the Ed Jacoby Invitational, Puccino leaped a personal-best distance of 23-4 in the long jump. The male jumps captain also had a seasonal best mark of 47-0 1/4 in the triple jump at the Ed Jacoby Invite. He ranks first in the long jump and second in the triple amongst the Big Sky with those marks.

Zack Nielsen – Throws – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’09)
Nielsen uncorked a personal-best toss of 62-3 3/4 in the weight throw at the Candy Cane VI, placing first and edging teammate Jordan Arakawa by half an inch. The mark preserved Nielsen’s meet record and also booked his ticket to the conference meet.

Steven Warner – Hurdles/Sprints – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’09)
Warner qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the 55-meter hurdles, running a personal best of 7.61 in the prelims and 7.63 in the finals to place first at the Candy Cane VI Invite. His preliminary time moved the senior up to fourth in school history. Warner ran a season-best time of 8.10 in the 60-meter hurdles at the Ed Jacoby Invitational, placing second by .01 seconds and inching closer to his school record of 8.07 set in 2012 when he won the Big Sky Indoor title in the event.

Jordan Arakawa – Throws – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Going into the Ed Jacoby Invitational with a seasonal best of 62-3 1/4, Arakawa launched a personal-best toss of 66-1, placing first overall. The junior moved atop the conference with that mark and was also named Big Sky men’s field Athlete of the Week for that performance. Arakawa was second in the weight and hammer throw last season at the Big Sky indoor and outdoor meets and ranks second in school history in both events.

Trenton Osborn – Jumps – East Wenatchee, Wash. (Eastmont HS ’13)
In his debut as an Eagle, Osborn leaped a winning distance of 23-2 in the long jump at the Candy Cane VI, qualifying the freshman for his first Big Sky Championships. At the Idaho Collegiate, Osborn had a mark of 23-0 1/2 on his last attempt, edging the runner-up by half an inch.

Shaun Lemafa – Throws  - Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS ‘09/Clackamas CC)
After coming just inches away at the UW Indoor Preview, Lemafa eclipsed the Big Sky standard in the weight throw at the Idaho Collegiate, getting off a toss of 56-4 to place fourth overall.

Brad Michael – Sprints – Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’11)
Michael qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the 400-meter dash, clocking a time of 48.95 to place fourth overall. The junior is coming off of two straight second-place finishes indoors in the 400.

Women

Keisa Monterola – Pole Vault – Caracus, Venezuela (Licro Caracas HS ‘06/Clackamas CC)
Monterola, who is competing in her final indoor season at EWU, cleared a height of 13-5 1/4 in the pole vault at the Candy Cane VI to win the event and qualify for the conference meet. The three-time Big Sky Champion matched that mark at the UW Indoor Preview for a second-place finish. Monterola has claimed Big Sky Field Athlete of the Week honors for each of those performances.

Courtney Bray – Pole Vault – Mead, Wash. (Mt. Spokane HS ’13)
Competing for the first time as an Eagle, Bray had a runner-up finish behind EWU teammate Keisa Monterola in the pole vault at the Candy Cane VI Invite, clearing the bar at 12-5 1/2 to nab her first career Big Sky qualifying mark. That clearance ranks the freshman seventh all-time at Eastern.

Olivia Midles – Throws – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Midles launched a personal best of 55-5 3/4 in the weight throw at the Candy Cane VI Invite, placing first and qualifying the junior for the Big Sky meet. That mark also moves Midles up to seventh in school history.

Vania Tauvela – Throws – Orting, Wash. (Orting HS ’09)
Tauvela, who qualified for the conference meet at the opening Candy Cane VI, got off a seasonal best of 54-10 in the weight throw at the Idaho Collegiate. She is coming off of two straight fourth-place finishes in the weight at the Big Sky indoor meet and her mark of 58-8 1/2 ranks third in school history

Paula Gil-Echevarria – Distance – Madrid, Spain
Competing in her first indoor meet for the Eagles, Gil-Echevarria ran a time of 4:59.48 in the mile at the UW Indoor Preview to qualify for the Big Sky Championships and also put the Spain-native third all-time at Eastern. Gil-Echevarria also clocked a time of 2:17.35 in the 800 at the Idaho Collegiate, ranking her ninth in school history. She improved on her mile time at the UW Invitational with an effort of 4:58.92.

Morena Mannucci – Jumps – Rome, Italy (Anco Marzio HS ’10)
Mannucci booked her ticket to the conference meet with a leap of 37-10 in the triple jump at the UW Indoor Preview. The Italian-native ranks fourth in school history with a jump of 38-6 1/2.

Sarah Reiter – Distance – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’12)
At the UW Invitational, Reiter ran a time of 17:26.65 in the 5,000 to rank second in school history only behind Eagle legend Kari McKay (16:35.08, ‘92). That time also cross-qualifies her for both the 5,000 and the 3,000 at the Big Sky Indoor Championships. Reiter won her heat in the 3,000 at the UW Indoor Preview, clocking a time of 10:07.96 to rank fifth in school history.

Emma Murillo – Throws – Kennewick Wash. (Southridge HS ’10)
After flirting with the Big Sky qualifying mark in previous two meets, Murillo launched a throw of 55-2 in the weight throw at the Idaho Collegiate to book her ticket to the Big Sky Championships.

Berenice Penaloza – Distance – Yakima, Wash. (Eisenhower HS’11)
Penaloza ran a time of 17:30.04 in the 5,000 at the UW Invitational, ranking the women’s distance captain fourth all-time at Eastern. That time also cross-qualifies her for both the 3,000 and 5,000 at the conference meet.

Morgan Romey – Throws – Mica, Wash. (Freeman HS ’11)
Romey qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the shot put after getting off a toss of 44-6 at the Ed Jacoby Invitational.

Jozie Kimes – Jumps/Multi. – Cashmere, Wash. (Cashmere HS ’12)
Kimes recorded a new-personal best score of 3,279 in the pentathlon, placing fifth and moving the sophomore up to third all-time at Eastern. She was also just 21 points off of meeting the Big Sky standard of 3,300. Kimes’ best event in the pentathlon was the high jump, in which she cleared 5-4 1/4 (771 points), setting a new personal best and also coming within less than an inch of the Big Sky qualifying mark of 5-5 for the open high jump.

LINKS

2013-14 Track & Field Online Guide: http://goeags.com/sports/c-track/onlineguide
EWU Track and Field - http://goeags.com/sports/c-track/index
Big Sky Indoor Track and Field – http://bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?path=itf&
NCAA Track and Field - http://www.ncaa.com
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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