Women’s Distance Stands Out for Eastern in Seattle

Two more Eagles qualify, several others inch toward conference standards at UW Preview

The Eastern Washington University track and field teams resumed the indoor season Saturday (Jan. 18) at the UW Indoor Preview in Seattle, Wash., with two more Eagles grabbing Big Sky qualifying standards, five making their marks in the record books and several hitting seasonal bests.

"I felt today's performances showed a solid effort individually and teamwise," said head men's coach Stan Kerr.

“It was a good meet for all the new athletes to gain experience through,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “They have their first road trip under their belt and we can build from that.”

Paula Gil-Echevarria highlighted the day, running a time of 4:59.48 to qualify for the Big Sky Championships and also move into third in school history and putting the freshman out of Madrid, Spain in striking distance of the school record of 4:54.67 set by Caitlin Prunty in 2004.

Also qualifying was another foreign athlete in Morena Mannucci, who leaped a distance of 37-10 in the triple jump to book her ticket to the conference meet.

In the women’s 3,000, Sarah Reiter won her heat with a time of 10:07.96, moving the Montana State transfer to fifth all-time at Eastern. Reiter was also close to hitting the conference standard of 10:00. Coming in after Reiter was Catie Arrigoni (10:25.60) and Berenice Penaloza (10:27.66), whose times now rank ninth and 10th in school history, respectively.

“I was pleased with Sarah’s heat win and Paula’s performance in the mile,” said Mecklenburg. “The depth we have been working to develop in the distances is starting to pay off.”

Jon Buchanan uncorked a throw personal-best throw of 55-7 in the shot put, placing third overall and moving the senior up to ninth in school history indoors.

Keisa Monterola cleared a height of 13-5 1/4 in the pole vault to place second, matching a season best for the Venezuela-native.

In the horizontal jumps, Phil Puccino had a season-best mark of 46-4 1/4 in the triple jump, while freshman Trenton Osborn had a mark of 22-9 1/4 in the long jump.

Junior Brad Michael clocked times of 49.56 in the 400 and 22.36 in the 200. Steven Warner had a time of 8.20 in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles and 8.34 in the finals.

"Brad and Steven both looked sharp and that's a good sign this early in the season," said Kerr.

A number of Eagles also flirted with Big Sky qualifying marks at the Dempsey Center Saturday. Darrin Love cleared 6-6 1/4. in the high jump, coming just a half-inch of the Big Sky standard of 6-6 3/4.

Emma Murillo got off a toss of 53-4 1/2 in the weight throw to place second, just missing the qualifying mark of 53-9. Olivia Midles (51-3 1/2) and Kayla Loop (51-0 3/4) finished behind Murillo to complete a 2-3-4 finish for EWU.

Morgan Romey had a throw of 43-5 1/4 in the shot put, inching closer to the conference mark of 43-11 3/4.

In the men’s weight throw, Jordan Arakawa (60-9 1/2) and Zack Nielsen (59-11 3/4) placed second and third, respectively. Shaun Lemafa placed fifth with a throw of 55-5, just four inches from hitting a qualifying mark of 55-9.

"Jordan, Zack and Jon threw well and showed why they are in the elite section of Big Sky throwers," said Kerr.

Eastern has now attained 16 Big Sky qualifying marks on the season, with six for the women and 10 on the men’s side. The conference meet will be held on Feb. 27- Mar. 1 in Pocatello, Idaho.

The Eagles will travel to Moscow, Idaho next week for two separate meets including the Idaho Collegiate on Jan. 24 and the Idaho Open on Jan. 25.

"Overall, this meet showed our team balance and determinationto be a top team in the Big Sky Conference," said Kerr.

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