February 8, 2014

Michael Highlights Promising EWU Showing at Idaho

Michael becomes double qualifier, several other Eagles put up strong marks at Kibbie Dome

With the Big Sky Championships lurking, the Eastern Washington University track and field teams grabbed one more conference qualifying mark while several athletes hit personal bests at the Vandal Indoor Friday (Feb. 7) and the Vandal Open Saturday (Feb. 8) at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho.

“Several strong individual performances showed that we’re mentally and physically positioning ourselves well for the upcoming Indoor Championships,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr.

In Friday’s action, Brad Michael ran a time of 22.02 in the 200, qualifying the junior for his second individual event at the Big Sky Championships. Michael, who has qualified in the 400, also ran a seasonal-best time of 48.78, placing fifth in a competitive 400 field.

Jon Buchanan popped off another personal-best in the shot put with a mark of 56-3, moving the senior up to seventh all-time at Eastern.

Jordan Arakawa had a toss of 63-4 in the weight throw, while Zack Nielsen reached a personal best of 63-0 1/4, placing first and second. That marks the fourth time this season the duo has completed a one, two sweep in the weight throw. Shaun Lemafa was fifth in the event with a seasonal best of 57-7 3/4.

Erin Clark and Brita Kintz each cleared a height of 11-7 3/4 in the pole vault, just two inches off the Big Sky standard of 11-9 3/4. That mark was a personal best for Kintz and a collegiate best for Clark.

In the 60-meter dashes, Obinna Nnadi (7.08) and Erika Lombardo (8.04) each clocked personal-best times.

Erika’s personal record in the 60 gives the team even more range in the sprints,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg.

Janessa Day (58.42), Angelica Rodriguez (58.47), and Leiran Cornish (58.79) each ran seasonal-best times in the 400.

“I was very pleased with the 400 runners,” said Mecklenburg. “Not only does that show that they are improving but it bodes well for our 4x400 relay as well.”

In Saturday’s action, Keisa Monterola won the pole vault with a clearance of 12-11 1/2, while freshman teammate Courtney Bray placed third, tying a collegiate-best mark of 12-5 1/2.

“Our youngsters Courtney, Erin and Brita each had season-best marks in the vault,” said Mecklenburg. “The future looks bright for EWU in the women’s pole vault.”

Vania Tauvela had a seasonal best of 56-6 3/4 in the weight throw, placing second overall.

Buchanan also competed Saturday, placing fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 58-10, just a quarter-inch off of his personal best.

Eastern now has 26 Big Sky qualifying marks on the season, with 14 for the men and 12 for the women. The Big Sky Indoor Championships are just a few weeks away on Feb. 27- March 1 in Pocatello, Idaho.

“The back-to-back days of competition gave us a good sense of the demands placed on the team as it relates to producing top marks at this point of the season,” said Kerr.

The Eagles will have their last chance to meet conference standards when they head back to Seattle, Wash., for the prestigious UW Husky Classic on Feb. 14-15 at the Dempsey Center.

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