January 21, 2014

Eagles Stay Close to Home for Two Meets in Idaho

Track and Field seeking more marks with Big Sky Championship implications at Kibbie Dome

The Eastern Washington University track and field teams will have two chances to add to its list of 16 Big Sky Conference qualifying marks as it travels to Moscow, Idaho to compete in the Idaho Collegiate Friday (Jan. 24) and the Idaho Open Saturday (Jan. 25) at the Kibbie Dome.

“This is a great regional meet with the other Division I teams around the area,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr. “Ourselves, Idaho and Washington State have a tremendous group of athletes that will put on a terrific show and produce some great marks.”

The Collegiate is the more exclusive of the two meets, only allowing collegiate and unattached athletes. Field events start at 1:30 p.m. and running events kick off at 2 p.m. with the 60-meter hurdles. The meet will be capped off by the 4x400 relay, which Eastern will be fielding both a men’s and women’s team for the first time this season.

“I’m very excited about getting the 4x400 relays on the track, said Kerr. “Both groups are poised to put themselves in a great position for the championships and will take that next step Friday.”

The Open allows high school athletes to compete in addition to collegiate and unattached competitors. Field events are scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. and running events are set for 9:00 a.m. Both meets will include multiple team dual scoring for Division I schools competing.

The meets are hosted by the University of Idaho, who will be rejoining the Big Sky Conference for the 2014-15 season.

Eastern has met 16 Big Sky qualifying standards on the season, with 10 for the men and six for the women. The Big Sky Championships are scheduled for Feb. 27- Mar. 1 in Pocatello, Idaho. 

“Definitely by design last week was kind of our immersion back into the indoor season,” said Kerr. “We’re re-acclimating to the academic and training schedule, but our marks were at a level much better than this point last year and we’ll certainly start adding some more qualifying marks.”

The majority of the team will compete Friday, with 63 Eagles currently entered in the Collegiate. The remainder of athletes not competing Friday will compete at the Open.

“Our team balance is one of the main things we’ve been focusing on and we have representatives from each event area among those 16 qualifying marks,” said Kerr. “That will continue to be our trend and we think that’s one of our steps in being a top-tier team in the Big Sky Conference.”

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: 10

Nick Stearns
– Pole Vault – 15-9 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Nick Stearns – Heptathlon – 4,729 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Jon Buchanan – Shot Put – 54-5 1/4 – 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 – 55 hurdles – 7.61 – Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS ’09)
Phil Puccino – Triple Jump – 46-1 1/2 – Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ‘10/Coffeyville CC)
Zack Nielsen – Weight Throw – 62-3 3/4 – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS ’09)
Jordan Arakawa – Weight Throw – 62-3 1/4 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Jon Buchanan – Weight Throw – 58-10 1/4 – Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS ’09)

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: Six (New: Two - Gil-Echevarria mile, Mannucci TJ)

Olivia Midles – Weight Throw – 55-5 3/4 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Vania Tauvela – Weight Throw – 53-10 1/2 – 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 – 4:59.48 – Madrid, Spain
Morena Mannucci – Triple Jump – 37-10 – Rome, Italy (Anco Marzio HS ’10)

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

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.

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 had a first-place finish in the triple jump (46-1 1/2) and a runner-up finish in the high jump (6-8) at the Candy Cane VI Invite, qualifying the male jumps captain in both events for the Big Sky Championships. He improved on that triple jump mark with a leap of 46-4 1/4 at the UW Indoor Preview

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 time of 8.20 in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles at the UW Indoor Preview, advancing him to finals.

Jordan Arakawa – Throws – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS ’10)
Arakawa got off a toss of 62-3 1/4 in the weight throw to place second just behind teammate Zack Nielsen (62-3 3/4) at the Candy Cane VI and qualify for the conference championships. 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.

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 kicked off her senior campaign with a second-place finish in the weight throw, getting off a toss of 53-10 1/2 and meeting a conference standard. 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.

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)
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. The Montana State transfer was also just under eight seconds off the Big Sky qualifying standard of 10:00.

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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